Detroit-Area Man Sues Puffy

Saturday, March 24th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DETROIT (AP) _ A syndicated television show host has sued rap mogul Sean ``Puffy'' Combs, his record label and members of the musician's entourage over an alleged attack after a 1999 interview.

Roger Mills' lawsuit, filed Thursday in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeks unspecified damages from Combs, Bad Boy Entertainment, several of Combs' representatives and Detroit radio station WCHB-FM.

Mills, of Harper Woods, Mich., alleges assault, false imprisonment, destruction of property, intentional infliction of emotional distress and a civil conspiracy.

``As we have yet to be served with this complaint, we are unable to comment on specific allegations,'' Combs spokeswoman Nathalie Moar said in a statement. ``However, any claim that Mr. Combs participated in any wrongdoing is totally false. Furthermore, facilitating the press with this baseless complaint is a blatant attempt to exploit Mr. Combs' celebrity for media attention.''

Representatives for Bad Boy Entertainment released a similar statement, saying they had not seen the lawsuit and had no comment. A message left Friday with WCHB was not immediately returned.

Mills' attorney, Hugh Davis, said Combs approached his client in August 1999 and offered to do an interview for a cable television program Mills hosted.

During the interview, which took place after an appearance Combs made at WCHB, Mills asked the rap star to comment on allegations that he contributed to the 1997 shooting death of rapper Notorious B.I.G., Davis said.

``Combs took immediate and extreme umbrage,'' Davis said Friday. ''(Combs) terminated the interview.''

Davis said a representative of Combs, who also is named in the suit, asked whether she could buy the videotape of the interview.

Mills refused, his attorney said, and as he prepared to leave in his vehicle, members of Combs' entourage approached him.

``He was prevented from leaving, and they demanded the tape be turned over. He declined and they physically took it from him and apparently destroyed the camera,'' Davis said.

Mills' neck was twisted and his shoulder was injured in the alleged attack, Davis said. Detroit police investigated but made no arrests.

``There was an incident, but we could not identify the perpetrators,'' Detroit Police Cmdr. Arnold Wicker said. ``We readily admit that there was an incident.''

Davis said Mills and his previous lawyer tried to resolve the matter by seeking an apology, but never received one.

``There was an extended period of time when they were trying to communicate with Combs' people in New York and resolve the matter without a lawsuit,'' he said.

Davis said Combs' trial in New York also delayed the filing.

A jury on March 16 acquitted Combs and his bodyguard, Anthony ``Wolf'' Jones, of gun possession and bribery charges from a Dec. 27, 1999, shooting inside Club New York in which three people were injured.