Lawyer Johnnie Cochran may be in the house, but the trial of Sean ”Puffy” Combs is no reprise of l’affaire O.J. Cameras have been banned from Room 733 of the Manhattan courthouse where the hip hop impresario faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted on gun possession charges and up to seven years for allegedly bribing a witness. Here’s a recap of Day One.
? Puffy protégé and codefendant Jamal ”Shyne” Barrow, 22, faces a more serious attempted murder charge. His mom, a former teacher, keeps a silent vigil in the courtroom, holding a bag lunch for him.
? Teen rap fans swarm the courthouse and squabble over who’s hotter. ”Shyne’s my boy,” says one girl, who played hooky to show support.
? Cochran appeared unusually subdued, seemingly on hand only to stroke the back of Combs — who was not wearing the pinkie ring that Jennifer Lopez had given him for luck last November.
? Speaking of Lopez, the Wedding Planner is listed as a potential witness by both the prosecution and defense. Her no show Jan. 29 lends credence to reports that P-Diddy and J.Lo are no more. More proof: Asked to identify Lopez, prosecution witness Leonard Howard said, ”She was Mr. Combs’ girlfriend.”