Publisher sues P. Diddy over undelivered memoir -- Random House says the hip-hop mogul owes $300,000 over autobiography that's five years overdue

By Gary Susman
Updated February 15, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

Sean ”P. Diddy” Combs may have been so busy over the last few years inventing the remix and making the band that he didn’t have time to write his autobiography. Now Random House, which commissioned the book back in 1998, is suing him to get its $300,000 advance back, plus interest, the Associated Press reports.

The publisher filed suit in Manhattan on Monday, claiming that P. Diddy’s manuscript is now more than five years overdue, and that the imprint had sent him several letters over the years asking for the return of the advance. ”Random House has seldom resorted to a legal course of action with its prospective authors who don’t write the books we have contracted for, but Mr. Sean Combs has left us no choice,” the publisher said in a statement. Combs’ publicist responded with his own statement, saying the dispute was a ”disagreement with Random House that we hoped would be resolved without litigation. We anticipate that this will be resolved quickly.”

It’s not the first time this unwritten book has been at the center of litigation. On his own, Combs hired Mikal Gilmore, a Rolling Stone contributing editor and an acclaimed memoirist himself (Shot in the Heart), to ghostwrite the book. According to AP, Combs sued Gilmore in 2001 over the never-completed manuscript, for which Combs had allegedly paid him $325,000. The case was suspended that year when Gilmore filed for bankruptcy and was ultimately dismissed.