ARREST RECORD More details are emerging on the Sean “Puffy” Combs trouble, and they make his Steven Stoute incident look like a jaywalking arrest: Combs was arraigned on charges of criminal possession of a weapon and released on $10,000 bail yesterday after a shooting in a New York club. According to Reuters, prosecutors say that Combs and a member of his entourage, Jamal Barrow, both pulled out guns in Club NY after somebody threw money at the rap mogul. Three people were shot — one woman in the face and two men in the shoulder (all are in stable condition) — but only Barrow, not Combs, is a suspect in the shooting. (Barrow was arrested at the club when he was found with a 9 mm, and was charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of reckless endangerment.) After the melee, Combs jumped into his car with girlfriend Jennifer Lopez, his driver, and a bodyguard, and police pursued them as they sped through at least 11 red lights before finally pulling over. That’s when cops discovered the other 9 mm — loaded and unlicensed — on the floor of his car. Charges against Lopez were dropped yesterday, although the two others in the car received the same weapons charge as Combs, which can carry up to 15 years in prison. “I do not own a gun. I do not carry a gun,” said Combs outside of Manhattan Criminal Court when he was finally released yesterday. “The charges and allegations against me are 100 percent false. I feel confident that in the next couple of days, I will be vindicated and everything will be all right.” Combs will return for a hearing on Feb. 14.
CASTING TROUBLE The lambs have been silenced, at least temporarily. Jodie Foster has passed on “Hannibal,” opting instead to direct Claire Danes this spring in “Flora Plum,” the story of a poor girl who is taken in by a freak. Anthony Hopkins‘ deal for the “Silence of the Lambs” sequel has still not been finalized, so Foster’s defection could mean the end of this project, and we can all breathe easier knowing we’ve avoided another “Jaws 2”-esque sequel debacle.
FINED Ben Affleck paid a $135 fine Thursday for a citation he landed last August for driving with a suspended license in Lee, Massachusetts. The infraction was noticed when Affleck was stopped for speeding while on his way to see Gwyneth Paltrow in a play in Williamstown, although his lawyer says that he has a valid license in California, and didn’t realize the Massachusetts license he was carrying was no longer good. Okay, so it’s not exactly getting pulled over with a loaded gun, but jeez, let a budding bad-ass build up to it!
PAYING UP Sylvester Stallone has agreed to plant 173 huge trees and almost 1,500 smaller trees and bushes to replace the ones he ripped out of his property without city approval. The new owners of his home had brought him to court after paying $16.2 million for his estate, and the actor settled, promising to pay up to $500,000 for the landscaping duties. “Mr. Stallone had no knowledge that the trees had been taken down,” said his lawyer. “Someone on his staff removed the trees on his own.” This finally answers the philosophical question, If a tree falls on a megastar’s property, but he plays dumb about it, will his lawyer make a sound?
BIRTH Eddie Murphy has welcomed his fourth child: His wife Nicole gave birth to daughter Zola Ivy on Christmas Eve.