One of the ugliest moments in recent journalism occurred in 2008 when when the Los Angeles Times was forced to recant when article titled “An Attack On Tupac Shakur Launched A Hip-Hop War.” In an article written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chuck Phillips, the magazine asserted that three associates of Sean “Diddy” Combs had orchestrated a hit on Shakur in 1994 for retaliation for not signing with Bad Boy Records.
Phillips claimed James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond, Jacques “Haitian Jack” Agnant, and supposed friend James “Jimmy” Sabatino were behind the notorious Quad Studios shooting of Tupac on the night of November 30, 1994, in which the rapper was critically injured and is often considered the instigating incident of the East Coat-West Coast feud in the mid-1990s. The story hinged on heavily on FBI documents claiming that Diddy’s associates were behind the attack, which Phillips claimed were corroborated by Sabatino, an imprisoned conman, after a jailhouse interview.
One week after Los Angeles Times article was published, The Smoking Gun released a story discrediting Phillips and the L.A. Times piece, proving that the documents the article hinged on were frauds. The forged FBI documents featured numerous spelling mistakes and were written on a typewriter – something that the FBI had not done in decades. After The Smoking Gun’s report, the L.A. Times was forced to recant their story.
In a recent interview given to the Miami New Times, Jimmy Sabatino disputes the claim that he was to blame for the forged documents and claims that he never even spoke with Phillips for his article. Moreover, Sabatino alleges that the forged documents were mastermind by Jimmy Rosemond as part of a theory to set him up. ”This was the one con I didn’t do,” he told the Miami New Times.
A few years later in 2012, Phillips wrote another article for the Village Voice revealing that Rosemond admitted involvement in the 1994 Quad Studios shooting of Tupac Shakur in an attempt to cop a plea deal for a pending drug case. Recently, Rosemond was sentenced to life in prison for a massive drug trafficking operation that he spearheaded.
This past summer, Sabatino was released from prison after serving 14 years but he might be scheduled to head back in the near future. He was arrested again recently for conning a series of Miami hotels and for possessing nude photos of a 17-year-old girl on his phone.
XXL reached out to lawyers representing Rosemond but as of press time, they were unavailable for comment.
[Via Miami New Times]