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 NEW YORK, Jan. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- At 4 p.m. today a press conference was held at the Plaza Hotel by rapper Heavy D and Sean Combs, co- promoters of last Saturday's celebrity basketball game at City College of New York, in response to the tragic outcome of the Dec. 28 charity basketball game that was to be held at the City College of New York.
 Statements were made by Combs, Heavy D, and their attorneys, Mike Warren and William Kunstler, respectively. The following is the attorney's joint statement made on behalf of Combs and Heavy D, and Combs statement.
 Neither Combs or Heavy D are available for interviews, however, background material on both will be available as of Friday, Jan. 3, noon through the Terrie Williams Agency.
 Statement of William M. Kunstler on behalf of Dwight Meyers (Heavy D) and Michael W. Warren on behalf of Sean Combs (Puff Daddy):
 The purpose of the this press conference is to attempt to put the tragic events of Dec. 28, 1991, at City College's Nat Holman Gymnasium into proper focus. There have been so many horrendous misstatements or outright untruths reported by the media which are designed to imply that Sean Combs (Puff Daddy), a youthful promoter, Cassundra Kirnon, president of the Evening Student Government, and Jose Frazier, its treasurer, and Dwight Meyers (Heavy D) were somehow implicated in the fatal stampede that has now led to the deaths of nine young people and injuries to 28 others. In addition, Mike Tyson, who left before the incident, was falsely accused by one newspaper of callously partying after it had taken place, although he did not yet know of its occurrence.
 Running through some of these critical comments is the natural interest of the city and some of its departments or agencies to place some or all of the blame for what happened on private parties so as to escape or dilute potential criminal or civil liability for what happened or avoid political liabilities. We already know that the police were called at least an hour before the stampede but did not enter or remain in the building until long after the deaths and injuries occurred, although the first group of officers were asked by Mr. Combs to announce on a bullhorn that no one who did not possess a ticket would be admitted, and neglected or refused to do so. The Emergency Medical Service (EMS) was notified as early as 7:05 p.m. but did not assign an ambulance until some 18 minutes later. The claims of Pinkerton's Inc., that it had 20 agents with 15 walkie talkies on hand is somewhat belied by the College's Security Services statement that it had assigned only five guards and a supervisor to the gymnasium.
 Our own investigation, which began two days ago when we were retained by our respective clients, has indicated the following: (1) The celebrity basketball game was under the co-sponsorship of Sean Combs and the Evening Student Government. (2) The use of the gymnasium was expressly approved by Jean Charles, the director of the College's Office of Co-Curricular Life. Although Mr. Charles now claims that he did not learn, during a two-hour pre-approval conference with Ms. Kirnon, about the involvement of rap groups, there were both fliers and many radio announcements of their planned presence. (3) Despite many false statements to the contrary, apparently less than 2,000 tickets were sold in advance for a gymnasium which seats 2,730 persons. (4) There were frequent requests for additional security personnel and police before the tragic stampede.
 There are three official agencies now investigating the causes of the catastrophe, namely the Mayor's Office, the District Attorney's Office, and CUNY itself. The participants in this conference stand ready to cooperate fully with them all, provided they can be assured that these investigations will be conducted in good faith and with the end of uncovering the truth of what happened in the gymnasium that night and not to shift responsibility from those really responsible to others who were not in order to avoid any legal liability or political damage for what we all acknowledge was a cosmic tragedy. In this respect, we are heartened by the recent concessions that the negligence of both the Police Department and City College were contributing factors to the tragedy.
 The co-sponsors originally intended that 25 percent of the event's recipients were to go to the fight against the dreaded AIDS. Tara Geter, an aide to Mr. Combs, called the City's Health Department four times during the week before the event in order to try to determine what private organizations or institutions it recommended should receive those funds, as well as to encourage it to provide a table with AIDS literature and condoms on the evening in question. She was assured by a Health Department representative that she would be furnished with its recommendations as to potential recipients and that the requested table would be provided. It should also be noted that, despite the 25 percent commitment, all of the proceeds received from the event, namely $24,581.00, were immediately placed in escrow and, according to information I have received from the office of Martin Garbus, Esq., Mr. Combs' prior attorney, have already been turned over the Deputy Mayor Milton Mollen.
 Heavy D, willingly and enthusiastically agreed to lend his name and reputation to the event because of his conviction that anything that can be done to assist in the fight against AIDS deserves, not only his support, but that of everyone, including performing artists, in the hopes that, someday, this presently fatal condition will become treatable and thus end a scourge that is destroying other young lives here and everywhere else in the world. Sean, who is a 22-year-old, shares Heavy D's sentiments in this regard.
 They and the other participants in this conference, as well as their attorneys, are acutely aware of the loss of nine young and promising lives and the painful and serious injuries suffered by so many others. We can only express to the families of those who died how keenly and deeply we regret their terrible losses. Each of us has pledged to do, in our own separate ways, what we can to soften those terrible blows although we know that, whatever we might manage to do, we cannot bring back those who were asphyxiated that night or ameliorate the suffering of those who managed to survive but were severely injured. Our hearts go out to all of you and we can only hope that time and the sure knowledge that so many share your grief may eventually dull the awful pain and sense of loss we know you are now enduring.
 Statement from Sean Combs:
 Good afternoon. My name is Sean Combs. I am also known as "Puff Daddy" to my friends. I was one of the co-sponsors of the celebrity basketball game which was to be held at City College last Saturday.
 I would like to let the families of the victims know how deeply hurt we are that such a tragedy occurred.
 In addition to sponsoring a profitable event, my dream for this evening was to bring a positive program to people my age in the community.
 And after Magic Johnson's recent announcement, we wanted to try to do something to make young people more aware of the dreaded disease, AIDS.
 My family is with me today. Right now our thoughts are with those who suffered and the tragedy brought upon their families. All of us must work together to get the facts about what went wrong, and do whatever must be done to insure that this never happens again. And we want the families to get the answers they deserve.
 -0- 1/2/92
 /CONTACT: Terrie Williams or Serena Gallagher of the Terrie Williams Agency, 212-489-5630, for Heavy D and Sean Combs/ CO: ST: New York IN: SU:

PS -- NY080 -- 6353 01/02/92 22:26 EST
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Date:Jan 2, 1992

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