Saturday, May 19th 2007Partner on MTV show says he threatened her
BY BEN WIDDICOMBE, MICHAEL WHITE and ALISON GENDAR
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Sean (Diddy) Combs' top choreographer - who took a star turn on the rap mogul's MTV reality show "Making the Band" - has accused him of threatening her with a chair during a heated argument that ended their partnership.
Laurie Ann Gibson filed a complaint with the NYPD claiming Diddy picked up a chair and menaced her with it during an argument over the lackluster performance of the TV show's latest group of contestants.
Sources close to Diddy denied he grabbed the chair, and they insisted the argument was part of the theatrics of the TV show and that Gibson overreacted.
Diddy's lawyer simply rejected the allegations.
"This is just another example of a false accusation by someone trying to take advantage of Sean's success and celebrity status," said attorney Benjamin Brafman.
While Gibson's lawyer said cops were still probing the incident, an NYPD spokesman said Manhattan detectives investigated the allegation, found no criminality and closed the case.
In the complaint filed with Manhattan cops May 11, Gibson said she got into a heated argument with Diddy and celebrity judge Michael Bivins during the April 25 filming of the MTV show at a branch of New York Sports Clubs in Greenwich Village.
Gibson said the two men started yelling and cursing at her when she told them the dancers had been given only a day to practice in order to see what they would do in a crunch.
Bivins then allegedly grabbed her while Diddy picked up a chair and threatened her. She said she broke free, tried to run and Bivins allegedly grabbed her once again. Then she left, the complaint stated.
Sources said Diddy fired her during the angry exchange - and at one point yelled for the MTV cameras to be shut off.
"She is the inspiration for the contestants, and she has worked with Sean Combs for more than 10 years. That's why this was so unexpected," Gibson's lawyer Peter Toumbekis said.
Toumbekis said the dancer's contract is with MTV and Combs does not have the power to fire her. Toumbekis also said the NYPD was still tying to get copies of the footage that MTV shot during the dispute.
"Making the Band" follows Diddy as he attempts to launch new music groups. The upcoming season focuses on the creation of an all-male band. Filming of the finale has been delayed because of the dispute, Toumbekis said.
"Puffy and I, we have such an amazing relationship," Gibson gushed in a February interview about the show with the Detroit Free Press. "He said, 'Laurie Ann, you need to do this show, people need to see what you do and who you are.' He said, 'Trust me, just do it.'"