Shyne Claims He Was Diddy's 'Fall Guy' In 1999 Nightclub Shooting

The rapper-turned-politician received a 10-year prison sentence in connection to the infamous shooting case involving his former label boss, Diddy.

Samir Hussein / Getty Images for Sean Diddy Combs

Shyne is redeclaring his innocence. 

During a recent interview with Channel 5 Belize, the rapper-turned-politician took some time to address the infamous 1999 Manhattan shooting involving Bad Boy Records boss, Sean “Diddy” Combs. The men were both arrested and charged in connection to the nightclub shooting, which left three bystanders injured; however, Diddy was ultimately acquitted on weapons charges while Shyne—legal name Moses Michael Levi Barrow—was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Diddy’s mounting legal issues have put a renewed spotlight on the case and the longstanding claims that Shyne was Diddy’s scapegoat. These allegations were reiterated by Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, a former Diddy employee who recently sued Diddy for sexual assault. Shortly after the complaint was filed, Natania Reuben — one of the victims of the 1999 club shooting — reiterated her belief that Diddy was the one who shot her.

“It opens wounds when you hear, you know, the victim saying that, you know, it was Diddy that shot her,” Shyne told  Channel 5. “And that was triggered by a lawsuit from a producer [Lil Rod] that produced on the Love Album who is making accusations and in those accusations, he says that the gentleman confessed to the shooting.”

Shyne, who is now the head of the Belize United Democratic Party, said he is trying to move past the conviction and his subsequent deportation; however, he’s “relieved” that more people are speaking the “truth.”

“Everyone knew all along that I was the fall guy,” he continued. “But my political enemies and, you know, detractors try to make me into, you know, this criminal.  But everyone knew that I was a young kid that took the fall. Everyone knew that, that was the story. I’m just saying that I maintained my innocence all this time.''

“… I didn’t get into who did what, but the victim is telling you who did what and I understand that there are other witnesses,” he explained. “Fragments were never removed so there was never any forensic testing to say who it was, but the victims are vindicating me. Witnesses are vindicating me, but I have moved on, I am not trying to relive that.  And so, I am appreciative of whatever contributions that Diddy has made to help the people of Belize.  I wish him well and I pray for him, and I pray for the alleged victims. And if it is true, may justice be served and if it’s not, it’s a tragedy because a global icon would have been destroyed.”

In a 2022 episode of Drink Champs, Shyne spoke about his relationship with Diddy following the conviction, saying that he doesn't blame the Bad Boy Records founder for what happened to him. Less than two years after the NYC shooting, he was found guilty of two counts of assault and reckless endangerment, and criminal possession of a weapon. 

“I don’t really blame that on him now as much as I did then,” Shyne explains in the video. “Because I did go through a stage of bitterness. But in retrospect, I blame it more on the lawyers that were advising him. Because his lawyers were there to secure a ‘not guilty’ verdict by any means.”

Shyne continued, “He’s a $100 million corporation and they looked at me as the enemy. This is how many years ago? This is 20-something years ago. Puff is still young relatively. So he’s much younger then and it’s a lot of pressure. He’s about to lose everything. I’m about to lose everything. I’m from that though. Diddy is a musician, but he wasn’t from that. So his response shouldn’t be expected to be my response. When your lawyers are misleading you and misguiding you, that’s how everything fell apart. And he said that to me. He said, ‘I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have never listened to those lawyers.’ I forgave him. It was traumatic. I would forgive him and then you might hear me a few months later going in on him. That was over a decade ago and I was in a different space then.”

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