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DADDY'S HOME AND DRY

A nine-year battle between the rap star and a woman injured at a charity event he co-promoted is settled out of court...

SEAN 'PUFFY' COMBS has come to an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed sum with a woman who alleged to be injured during a stampede at a charity basketball game he co-promoted in 1991, closing the book on almost a decade of legal wrangles.

The woman, Nicola Levy, had filled a US$2 million civil suit against Combs and co-promoter Heavy D after being one of 29 injured at the University of New York event at which nine people died.

Combs and Heavy D were found to be partially responsible for the fatalities and injuries when a New York court ruled the event had been oversold and insuffient security employed.

Combs has already spent an estimated $750,000 to settle a series of lawsuits brought by others injured and the relatives of those killed during the stampede, but has continually baulked at Levy's request, labelling it "phoney" in the past.

Levy's legal team alleged that the physical trauma she sustained, coupled with seeing a friend killed in the accident, brought on a condition known as Graves Disease, which causes a thyroid gland problem leading to poor eyesight and other ailments.

Combs solicitor Luke Pittoni said the settlement vindicated his client and added: "It remains clear that Nicole Levy's case is without merit."

However, Combs may have a speedy return to court. The case alleging his illegal possesion of weapons and bribery is looming.

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