Combs sued for battery outside nightclub


Sean "Diddy" Combs is being sued by a man who says the hip-hop impresario punched him in the face outside a Hollywood nightclub last week, according to court documents.

An attorney for Combs on Monday denied that the Grammy-winning rapper and founder of Bad Boy Records had hit anyone and said the plaintiff, Gerard Rechnitzer, 27, wanted to cash in on Combs' celebrity.

The suit, filed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court and later posted by the celebrity news Web site, says Rechnitzer was attacked after he approached Combs while the rap mogul was talking to Rechnitzer's girlfriend.

The suit says Combs, without provocation, shouted an obscenity at Rechnitzer, who then warned his girlfriend that they should leave, prompting Combs to yell at him, "I'll smack flames out your ass!" At that point, the suit says, Combs "attacked, assaulted and battered" Rechnitzer, causing him "to fly backwards several feet" into a vehicle behind him.

A police spokesman said officers were investigating an incident in which Rechnitzer said he was punched on the right side of the face by a man talking to his girlfriend.

The police report did not identify the other man, and the police spokesman said he could not confirm that Combs, 37, was the subject of the investigation. Combs' lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, called the lawsuit "completely baseless."

"It is just another example of an opportunist seeking to fabricate a lawsuit based on a flat-out lie to try to take advantage of Mr. Combs' celebrity status," Brafman said in a statement. "Mr. Combs did not hit anyone, and Mr. Rechnitzer suffered no injuries or damages whatsoever. There is no case. It is that simple."

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering and punitive damages.