What? You already knew that? Well, the LA Times wants to make it even clearer. It's already apologised for running the story that falsely implicated Diddy in Tupac's shooting, and now it has gone and formally retracted the story as well.
However, the LA Times probably has another thing coming if it thinks it has wriggled out of a libel lawsuit from Diddy. An apology and a retraction just isn't enough to win Diddy over.
Now, an apology, a retraction, four free McDonald's Happy Meal vouchers, a kissogram dressed up as Notorious B.I.G and a customised Scrabble set which only contains the letters D, I and Y and it's another matter entirely. Get on it, LA Times.
Lesson number one of understanding libel law is that you're only allowed to make up lies about dead people. For example, we could easily make up a story about Charlton Heston bumming a donkey while dressed as Zorro and we wouldn't get sued, even though it very obviously didn't happen.
But libelling someone who's alive? That's another matter entirely. Were we to say that, for example, Diddy orchestrated the non-fatal shooting of Tupac Shakur in 1994 and we'd probably get in all kinds of shit. That's because we happen to know for a fact that Diddy spent so much of 1994 bumming donkeys while dressed up as Zorro that he couldn't have possibly found the time to do that.
The LA Times, though, didn't know that, which is why it published a story last month claiming that Diddy was behind Tupac's shooting and that it had the evidence to prove it. Which it did. True, the evidence was forged by a bullshitting prisoner who tapped it out on a jail typewriter, but it was still evidence.
So far the LA Times has apologised to Diddy for the mistake, but that wasn't enough. Which is why, as E! Online reports, the newspaper has gone one stage further and formally retracted the article:
"In its retraction Monday, the newspaper agreed with the investigative website's findings that 'some of the other sources relied on… do not support major elements of the story. The Times now believes that Sabatino fabricated the FBI reports and concocted his role in the assault as well as his supposed relationships with Combs, [James Jimmy Henchman] Rosemond and [Jacques Haitian Jack] Agnant," the newspaper wrote. To the extent these publications could be interpreted as creating the impression that Combs was involved in arranging the attack, The Times wishes to correct that misimpression, which was neither stated in the article nor intended'."
That should be enough to stop Diddy from launching a major lawsuit against the newspaper, right? Well, probably not. Diddy has already made noises about wanting to unequivocally clear his name, plus let's not forget that he could hire a goose in a suit to be his lawyer for this case and he'd still probably win it quite easily.
But, now that Diddy has the scent of blood in his nostrils, we'd just like to similarly clear up a few things we've said about Diddy in the past to stop him suing us as well…
When we said that Diddy punched flames out a man's ass, there was no real evidence that any fire was shat by either party. Sorry.
Also, when we claimed that Diddy could have been sleeping with Sienna Miller, we had no proof of that. In retrospect, you'd have to have judgement so terrible that it borders on the mentally unwell to sleep with Sienna Miller. Again, we're sorry.
And we're sorry for saying that Diddy had twins. We only said that because we read about it. For all we know, Diddy's girlfriend could have hatched 2,000 babies out of a sac on her back like a disgusting half-human half-spider hybrid. We really have no way of knowing. We apologise.
However, we refuse to retract the thing we said earlier about Diddy bumming donkeys. That definitely happened. Definitely.
OK, it didn't happen. Don't sue us please Diddy.