Shyne, The Guy Who Took The Fall And Served 10 Years For Diddy In His 1999 Nightclub Shooting, Admitted He Was "The Fall Guy" After All

Complex - During a recent interview with Channel 5 Belize, the rapper-turned-politician took some time to address the infamous 1999 Manhattan shooting involving Bad Boy Records boss, Sean “Diddy” Combs. The men were both arrested and charged in connection to the nightclub shooting, which left three bystanders injured; however, Diddy was ultimately acquitted on weapons charges while Shyne—legal name Moses Michael Levi Barrow—was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Diddy’s mounting legal issues have put a renewed spotlight on the case and the longstanding claims that Shyne was Diddy’s scapegoat. These allegations were reiterated by Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, a former Diddy employee who recently sued Diddy for sexual assault. Shortly after the complaint was filed, Natania Reuben — one of the victims of the 1999 club shooting — reiterated her belief that Diddy was the one who shot her.

“It opens wounds when you hear, you know, the victim saying that, you know, it was Diddy that shot her,” Shyne told  Channel 5. “And that was triggered by a lawsuit from a producer [Lil Rod] that produced on the Love Album who is making accusations and in those accusations, he says that the gentleman confessed to the shooting.”

Shyne, who is now the head of the Belize United Democratic Party, said he is trying to move past the conviction and his subsequent deportation; however, he’s “relieved” that more people are speaking the “truth.”

“Everyone knew all along that I was the fall guy,” he continued. “But my political enemies and, you know, detractors try to make me into, you know, this criminal.  But everyone knew that I was a young kid that took the fall. Everyone knew that, that was the story. I’m just saying that I maintained my innocence all this time.''

In the 25-year aftermath of the 1999 Club New York shooting, Jamal "Shyne" Barrow continues to proclaim his innocence, arguing fervently that he was unfairly made the scapegoat in a drama starring much bigger names. "It opens wounds. Everyone knew all along I was the fall guy," Shyne remarks, a sentiment that echoes painfully two decades later. His insistence on his innocence underscores a story of youthful promise derailed by circumstances far beyond the typical nightclub brawl.

"All this time, I was defending myself. I did not shoot those people. I maintain that I never shot nobody," Shyne has repeatedly stated, maintaining his innocence even as he served a 10-year sentence. This claim has colored his life's narrative, transforming from a rising music star into a symbol of injustice within the music industry and beyond.

Natania Reuben, a victim from that night, has kept the discussion alive with her willingness to undergo surgery to remove a bullet fragment from her face, a stark testament to her quest for truth and accountability. "I’m willing to have a doctor remove a part of the 9 mm bullet in my face so that they can use it as evidence if need be for this trial,” she declared. Her accusation that Diddy, not Shyne, was the true perpetrator that night lends a serious weight to the claims of Shyne's innocence.


The narrative of that night reads like a sensational media story: a fight breaks out in a VIP section, shots are fired, and amid the chaos, Shyne gets tagged as the shooter, while Diddy and then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez flee the scene, later facing minor legal repercussions. The aftermath saw Diddy walking away relatively unscathed, legally and career-wise, which starkly contrasts with the severe consequences Shyne faced—consequences that included a lengthy prison sentence and a deportation upon his release.

Years later, Shyne has reformed his life, focusing on politics and community leadership in his home country of Belize, but the scars of 1999 remain. His political career, though successful, often circles back to his criminal conviction in the U.S., a perpetual reminder of his fall guy status. Just like today when he was asked about the allegations and conviction which saw his career dashed, and his American citizenship stripped. 

The continuous support and positive gestures towards Diddy, despite the past, show a man trying to move beyond bitterness, even as he remains critical of the narrative that convicted him. For some bizarre reason, Shyne agreed to host Diddy this past September (coincidentally RIGHT BEFORE DIDDY GAVE HIS ARTISTS ALL THEIR PUBLISHING BACK CLEAR OUT OF THE BLUE FOR NO REASON AT ALL. (But made them sign NDA's...) Diddy flew to Belize to "patch things up public image wise with Shyne, and celebrate his new life in politics. 

And a month later, Diddy brought Shyne out on stage at a show in London, and sucked his dick in public. (Figuratively of course, not literally. You have to be sure to point that kind of thing out now.)


(Since everybody around here lately loves to call me fucking crazy, I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that if I was actually crazy, I would float the theory here that ALL of this seems very, very coincidental. Everything including Diddy's houses being raided and his world seeming to come crashing down so suddenly. In 2022, Combs and Diageo settled a massive series of lawsuits and countersuits against each other for an undisclosed amount. The suits were based upon their previous relationship co-owning Ciroc and DeLeon brands. Regardless of who paid who what, (it is rumored Diageo caved and paid Combs a hefty amount just to be rid of him and the suit) you have to consider how much money they'd already paid/sunk into Combs for his marketing deal. And later, the "co-purchase" of the tequila brand. (Diageo paid $100 Million, Diddy paid $1000) They had all the reason in the world, and just as much money, to stand up to Combs and bring his world crashing down like it has. I am by no means saying this is the case, I'm simply pointing out that this is when all of Combs problems really began. Shortly after Cassie's civil suit dropped out of nowhere. Just saying, if I was crazy, that's the kind of thing I would say. But I'm not, so I'm not.)

This wasn't totally out of left field seeing as Shyne, once returning for a PR tour in 2022 made a stop on Drink Champs and said he harbored zero ill will towards Diddy whatsoever. 

In a 2022 episode of Drink Champs, Shyne spoke about his relationship with Diddy following the conviction, saying that he doesn't blame the Bad Boy Records founder for what happened to him. Less than two years after the NYC shooting, he was found guilty of two counts of assault and reckless endangerment, and criminal possession of a weapon. 

“I don’t really blame that on him now as much as I did then,” Shyne explains in the video. “Because I did go through a stage of bitterness. But in retrospect, I blame it more on the lawyers that were advising him. Because his lawyers were there to secure a ‘not guilty’ verdict by any means.”

Meanwhile, Reuben’s relentless pursuit of justice and her direct accusations against Diddy paint a picture of a woman ignored by the legal system, her injuries a footnote in a high-profile celebrity case. Her recent statements and the historical context call into question not just Diddy’s innocence, but the integrity of the entire judicial process that allowed a more prominent figure to evade scrutiny. And allow his young artist to be his whipping boy.

This saga continues to unfold, reminding us that the truth often remains elusive in the glamorous but harsh lights of celebrity culture. Shyne's ongoing struggle for vindication and Reuben's fight for justice challenge us to reconsider who we believe and why. And to always remember money buys everything- especially your innocence.