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Judge Reduces P.Diddy Damages

A judge has reduced a civil judgment against Sean “P. Diddy” Combs to $450,000, overturning $2 million in punitive damages against the rap-music icon.

Judge William Z. Wood of Forsyth Superior Court said Combs still must pay compensatory damages to Cedrick Bobby Lemon, who sued Combs.

Lemon alleged he was beaten by two bodyguards that Combs had hired to protect soul singer Mary J. Blige at a 1995 concert.

The judge had ordered Combs to pay Lemon $2.45 million in damages in September, after Combs failed to answer the allegations in Lemon’s lawsuit within the time limit proscribed by state law.

Combs or his attorneys had until July 30 to file a response to Lemon’s complaint. Wood said he reduced the judgment Tuesday because the case required “a more detailed finding of fact and law to consider such things as defendant’s net worth and prior conduct.”

The 33-year-old chief executive officer of Bad Boy Entertainment is worth $231 million, according to Fortune magazine. Nathalie Moar, a spokeswoman for Combs, said Wood’s ruling was a victory.

“We prevailed and have overturned the $2 million award,” Moar said. “As Mr. Combs had nothing to do with this, we will be taking steps to have the remaining judgment dismissed.”

Neither Lemon nor his attorney, Herman Stephens of Winston-Salem, could be reached for comment.

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