Week Delay in Combs Trial
The much-anticipated trial of rap entrepreneur Sean "Puffy" Combs, 30, which was originally scheduled to begin today, was postponed for a week on Friday by a Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon, who has also issued a gag order in the case. Combs faces the bench in the wake of his Dec. 27, 1999 arrest for gun possession. He is also charged with bribery for allegedly offering to pay his driver $50,000 to claim ownership of the gun in the car that Combs used to leave a Times Square nightclub where two people had been shot. Police said that Combs offered the driver a diamond ring that the impresario's girlfriend, actress-singer Jennifer Lopez, had reportedly given him. The trial was delayed after both sides concurred that it could be shortened significantly if given an extra week to resolve legal issues. Outside the courtroom Friday, Combs exchanged pleasantries with fans, say reports, while his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said of the just-issued gag order: "This is a simple gun-possession charge that involves a superstar. This is not the Lindbergh kidnapping."