P Diddy sued for £160,000 memoir he never wrote

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The Independent US

Writer's block is not the only malaise to have struck hip-hop impresario Sean "P Diddy" Combs in the seven years since one of New York's biggest publishing houses struck a deal with him to write an autobiography. Accountant's block seems to have followed quickly. The book has never been written and the publisher's advance never returned. Random House said this week that it had taken the unusual step of filing suit in a Manhattan court against Mr Combs in an effort to recover $300,000 (£160,000) the company said it paid him in 1998 to write a memoir he never delivered. The deadline for Mr Combs to submit a first manuscript was December 1999. In early 2000, the company informed him that he was in breach of contract and in 2001 told him it was time to return the money.

Writer's block is not the only malaise to have struck hip-hop impresario Sean "P Diddy" Combs in the seven years since one of New York's biggest publishing houses struck a deal with him to write an autobiography. Accountant's block seems to have followed quickly. The book has never been written and the publisher's advance never returned. Random House said this week that it had taken the unusual step of filing suit in a Manhattan court against Mr Combs in an effort to recover $300,000 (£160,000) the company said it paid him in 1998 to write a memoir he never delivered. The deadline for Mr Combs to submit a first manuscript was December 1999. In early 2000, the company informed him that he was in breach of contract and in 2001 told him it was time to return the money.

"We have seldom resorted to a legal course of action with our prospective authors who don't write the books we have contracted for, but Mr Combs has left us no choice," the publisher said. "We have received neither the manuscript nor the return of the money we advanced him."

Mr Combs, whose business interests range from ownership of Bad Boy Entertainment to a fashion clothing line, originally hired Mikal Gilmore, a contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine, to help with the book. But the two men fell out and Mr Gilmore left the project before anything was written.

A spokesman for Mr Combs said he was hoping for a settlement "without litigation". This would avoid a possibly embarrassing trial. P Diddy fans would surely much rather that he gets on and writes the book.

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