Jose Lambiet

Court papers: Diddy paid $35,000 to photographer after bodyguards beat him

P. Diddy at the 2018 Fox Network Upfront in New York on May 14, 2018, in New York City.
P. Diddy at the 2018 Fox Network Upfront in New York on May 14, 2018, in New York City. Getty Images

What’s the going rate for a paparazzo beatdown these days?

If the alleged perpetrator is P. Diddy, it’s $35,000.

How do we know?

When stars like the Star Island rap mogul mix it up with shutterbugs, the amount of money recovered by the victims is usually kept under wraps.

But a fresh batch of court papers filed in a six-year-old case involving the singer of "I’ll Be Missing You" and "It’s All About The Benjamins" reveals Diddy paid photographer Gustavo Garces $35,000 for a New Year’s Eve 2011 incident in which Garces claims he was punched and choked by two bodyguards as Diddy directed them.

Why did the previously confidential settlement information pop up suddenly?

Garces, court records show, has been feuding with his lawyer, who’s had the settlement money in escrow.

According to his original 2012 complaint, Garces was standing by the DoubleTree Grand Biscayne Bay Hotel in downtown Miami when he noticed the artist formerly known as Sean Diddy Combs and Puff Daddy sitting in a car by the entrance.

Garces claims he started taking photos of Combs inside the car when the occasional actor and his bodyguards, Kwmae Sandy and Neil Dominique, allegedly jumped out and charged him.

“Sandy proceeded to repeatedly punch the plaintiff in and around his ribs,” the complaint reads, while “Dominique subdued the plaintiff in a headlock, therefore preventing the plaintiff from breathing and allowing Sandy to continue his vicious attack.”

The paperwork shows Combs watched and directed his musclemen to grab Garces’ cameras.

The case was headed to a trial in August when Diddy settled and sent the money to Garces’ lawyer.

The end, right?

That would be logical — but this is Miami.

Earlier this year, Diddy’s lawyers filed a motion to force Garces to sign a release to end the case once and for all.

However, according to the most recent papers, Garces is entangled in a dispute with his lawyer, Rhonda Gelfman, over her fees.

And, according to records, he isn’t signing the final release until he is happy with Gelfman, who wasn't available for comment.

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