Bad Boy impresario Sean “P. Diddy” Combs was ordered by a North Carolina superior court judge to pay $2.45 million in damages to a man who claimed he was injured by bodyguards hired by Combs for a 1995 Mary J. Blige concert, according to a spokesperson for the court.
Cedrick Bobby Lemon, a limousine driver who was working at the Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on the night of the concert, said he was beaten by two bodyguards employed by Combs, who was acting as Blige’s manager at the time of the show.
Forsyth Civil Superior Court Judge William Z. Wood ordered Combs to pay Lemon the damages on September 10, after explaining that Combs failed to respond to the allegations in Lemon’s suit within a 30-day state-mandated time limit, the spokesperson said, reading from the court records.
“We have just learned of this lawsuit,” read a statement issued Tuesday by Combs’ spokesperson, Nathalie Moar. “As it has no merit whatsoever, we intend to take all necessary steps to have it dismissed.”
Combs declined to accept a civil summons about the suit from a Forsyth County deputy during an appearance at the Greensboro Coliseum on June 21, according to court records.
Lemon’s lawsuit alleged that on the night in question he was wearing an identification badge that allowed him backstage access at the time that Blige was leaving the stage. When guards attempted to clear the area to allow Blige to exit, Lemon said he was punched in the head by one of the bodyguards.
While falling to the ground, Lemon grabbed the forearm of one of the guards, who fell on top of him. The bodyguards then kicked Lemon in the back as he covered his head with his hands while another guard stomped on Lemon’s right ankle several times.
Lemon suffered a broken right ankle and bruised left hand, which were treated at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, according to court records. He also alleged that he suffered from emotional and mental distress following the attack.
Lemon’s attorney, Herman Stephens, told the Associated Press that Lemon was pleased with Judge Wood’s decision, but “he’s not ecstatic yet because he has not received any money.”