Oops: LA Times Duped in Tupac Story

Oops. Remember that story we posted last week from the LA Times written by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Chuck Philips? Well, the Smoking Gun has discovered that the whole goddamn thing was based on forged “FBI” documents created by a fat, white nerd who happens to be a compulsive liar and attention seeker:

The Times appears to have been hoaxed by an imprisoned con man and accomplished document forger, an audacious swindler who has created a fantasy world in which he managed hip-hop luminaries, conducted business with Combs, Shakur, Busta Rhymes, and The Notorious B.I.G., and even served as Combs’s trusted emissary to Death Row Records boss Marion “Suge” Knight during the outset of hostilities in the bloody East Coast-West Coast rap feud.

The con man, James Sabatino, 31, has long sought to insinuate himself, after the fact, in a series of important hip-hop events, from Shakur’s shooting to the murder of The Notorious B.I.G.. In fact, however, Sabatino was little more than a rap devotee, a wildly impulsive, overweight white kid from Florida whose own father once described him in a letter to a federal judge as “a disturbed young man who needed attention like a drug.”

Doh! Sorry for passing along the bunk. But we assumed that a Pulitzer Prize winner (or at least his editor!) would do his homework. So, um, never mind. And… please don’t shoot us, Mr. Combs, we meant no harm…

Update: The LA Times “will launch an internal investigation into the authenticity of [the] documents…”

Update #2: The LA Times apologizes. “In relying on documents that I now believe were fake, I failed to do my job,” Philips said in a statement Wednesday. “I’m sorry.”

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