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Diddy Can't Be Diddy in Britain

The Associated Press
Monday, September 11, 2006; 9:47 PM

LONDON -- Sean Combs is Diddy no more _ at least in Britain. The musician and entertainment mogul has agreed to drop the Diddy name as part of an out-of court legal settlement with London-based music producer Richard "Diddy" Dearlove, the law firm representing Dearlove said Monday.

Solicitors Jens Hills & Co. said Combs had agreed to "rebrand his commercial activities" in Britain and would "no longer be able to trade in the U.K. as 'Diddy.'"

Combs _ formerly known as Puffy and Puff Daddy _ has used the moniker P. Diddy since 2001, but last year decided to be known solely as Diddy.

Dearlove launched a lawsuit for unfair competition, claiming the name change had caused confusion. The case had been due to go to the High Court next month.

"I started getting e-mails from Puerto Rican girls asking if they could be in my video and people were asking me to look at their clothing line," Dearlove was quoted as saying by The Guardian newspaper.

Combs, 36, whose fortune was last year estimated by Forbes magazine at $250 million, agreed to pay Dearlove's costs, as well as "significant" damages, Dearlove's lawyer said.

But a spokesman for the music mogul said the matter had been resolved "amicably."

"The damages reported are wholly inaccurate and the request by Dearlove's attorney for legal fees in a case that has been settled is regrettable and is being vigorously contested," spokesman Robert Zimmerman of Dan Klores Communications said on behalf of Combs.

Dearlove, 40, best known for his 1990s dance remix of Blondie's "Atomic," told The Guardian he was "happy and relieved."

"It doesn't matter how big people become," he said. "This is my name. I've been successful too. I'm not a global megastar, but what I do is valid."

___

On the Net:

Richard "Diddy" Dearlove: http://www.diddyland.com

Sean Combs: http://www.diddyonline.com

© 2006 The Associated Press