"The story is a lie," the hip-hop mogul said in a statement Monday. "It is beyond ridiculous and completely false. Neither (the late rapper Notorious B.I.G.) nor I had any knowledge of any attack before, during or after it happened. ... I am shocked that the Los Angeles Times would be so irresponsible as to publish such a baseless and completely untrue story."
The 1994 shooting triggered the celebrated feud between East and West Coast rappers that led to the killings of Shakur and B.I.G.
The story said that talent manager James Rosemond and promoter James Sabatino arranged the assault. They and Combs declined to be interviewed for the story, which appeared on the Los Angeles Times Web site but not in its paper publication.
It was not clear why the story, written by Chuck Philips, was only published online. Telephone and e-mail messages to the Times were not immediately returned.
Rosemond called the story a "libelous piece of garbage."
"In the past 14 years, I have not even been questioned by law enforcement with regard to the assault of Tupac Shakur, let alone brought up on charges," he said in a statement. "Chuck Philips, the writer ... has reached a new low by employing fourth-hand information from desperate jailhouse informants along with ancient FBI reports to create this fabrication. I simply ask for all rap fans and fans of Tupac to analyze this fiction for what it is."
By Sandy Cohen