Former Bad Boy Records artist Shyne was imprisoned for nearly a decade on charges of attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment. In 1999, Shyne, Diddy and his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez were partying at a Manhattan nightclub when gunfire erupted.
Shyne, who was barely out of his teens at the time, was forced to either defend himself and his friends or risk getting shot by alleged instigator Matthew “Scar” Allen. While no one was killed, three people were injured. Diddy was arrested that night but was acquitted of all charges. Shyne ultimately severed all ties with Diddy and Bad Boy Records as he served his time in prison.
Diddy’s ex-bodyguard, Gene Deal, was working for the Bad Boys mogul when the incident took place. In a recent interview with Art of Dialogue, he looked back on that night and what led up to the shooting.
“We had the day off,” he recalls. “Puff and Jennifer Lopez was in the Hamptons, and they was supposed to be taking some kind of Mediterranean tour. They had rented a boat and they was going on a tour. Puff gave us the day off … [bodyguard] Wolf is at a party. They call it The Show. Puff come all the way from the Hamptons. If you in the Hamptons, that’s an hour and forty-five minutes. That could be a two-hour drive on that type of day with traffic, easy.
“Wolf told me that’s he’s telling Puff to just stay there … but Puff just had to come. I’m getting a phone call talkin’ about, ‘Yo Gene, Puff is coming back from the Hamptons.’ All that shit went to voicemail. I’m listening to my messages and they tellin’ me I gotta come back to work. I ain’t even pick that up. From my understanding, everybody goes there.”
Deal says fellow security guard Anthony “Wolf” Jones, a couple other security personal, Diddy and Lopez arrived at the club right before Shyne walked in. According to Deal, they were “beefing with some dudes who packed a certain part of the bar.”
When Diddy got to the club, he instantly took over the bar and was soon approached by another man who said to him, “N-gga, we got money.” The man allegedly threw the money in Diddy’s face and that’s when Deal says the fight broke out.
While Diddy managed to escape without jail time, Shyne sat behind the bars of Clinton Correctional Facility cell until 2009. When asked why they both didn’t get the same sentence, Deal suggested Diddy snitched on Shyne to evade the charges.
“They came to Shyne and they asked Shyne for 20 racks ’cause they had somebody that was gonna make sure all of them got off ’cause they was not going to agree to none of them charges, and they was on the jury stand,” he says. “Shyne may not admit to it, but he knows that to be true. So now, the reason they got off was people was coming to Bad Boy security and said that they were there.
“So they were giving them the D.A.s and the lawyers’ cards and telling ’em to go make a statement. Some of those people making statements, they was making statements against Shyne. He was like, ‘You supposed to be my brother and you got people testifying against me?’ Those people were testifying, they were brought to Puff first, saying what they saw against Shyne, what they saw Shyne do. The D.A. didn’t even know those people existed.”
After Shyne’s sentence was up, he was released into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody and sent back to his home country of Belize. In an August 2021 interview with HipHopDX, Shyne explained how he was finally able to find forgiveness for Diddy’s actions.
“I think all families that I know on planet Earth have disputes and difficulties, and that’s part of a family,” he said. “And I think you have to have perspective, and you have to have a vision and a focus as to where you’re going. I try not to focus on people and I try to focus on myself. Once I heal and once I get clarity as to my purpose and my mission, then taking the baggage of yesterday with me is not practical. You can’t move forward taking things from 23 years ago with you.
Shyne and Diddy have long buried the hatchet. In fact, Diddy helped Shyne secure a U.S. Visa in an effort to improve relations between America and Belize last summer.
“I have purged myself of whatever resentment and whatever blame and whatever anger and frustration and devastation,” he told DX. “I’ve rid myself of that because I can’t carry that with me because I need to make room for all these people that I’m trying to help, that have so much baggage and such a load to carry, and I’m trying to lift them. So I can’t lift them up if I’ve got negativity holding me down.”