PUFF DADDY KEEPS HIS COOL

The superstar singer continues to protest his innocence over charges of weapons possession and bribery...

SEAN ‘PUFFY’ COMBS returned to court yesterday (May 16) to face charges relating to a December 1999 nightclub shooting and saw proceedings against him immediately adjourned until June 14.

However, the rapper/producer will not be required to be present in person in New York State Supreme Court for the June date.

Combs and co-defendant, bodyguard Anthony ‘Wolf’ Jones, face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of weapons possession. A further charge of bribery has been brought against the pair.

A loaded 9mm handgun was found under the seat of a people carrier in which Combs, Jones, Combs girlfriend, the actress Jennifer Lopez, his driver Wardel Fenderson and an unidentified man were travelling when stopped by police in the early hours of December 27. The party had been fleeing Times Square’s Manhattan Club where rapper Shyne, real name Jamal Barrow, is alleged to have opened fire, wounding three people. The weapon found under the car seat is alleged to be the same one Puff Daddy brandished in the club during the shooting.

The bribery charge relates to US$50,000 that Puffy and Jones are said to have offered Fenderson to admit possession and ownership of the weapon.

The star took advantage of yesterday’s adjournment to again plead innocence.

“I am eager to start my trial,” he said in a prepared statement, “In my heart I know that I have not committed any of the crimes that I am accused of and that once a fair and impartial jury has had an opportunity to review all of the evidence, they will conclude that I am innocent.”