Dan Klores helps 'Puffy' win in court of public opinion

NEW YORK: At 3am on December 27, 1999, Dan Klores got a call from

Sean 'Puffy' Combs' assistant, telling him the hip-hop magnate had been

arrested following a shooting incident in a Manhattan nightclub.

Fast forward to last week, when 15 months of PR and legal work

culminated in the jury acquitting Combs of all charges. Combs retained

Klores, president of Dan Klores Communications, throughout. Klores'

primary PR tactic, starting with the very first statement made after the

arrest, was to continually assert his client's innocence.

Klores told PRWeek: 'The strategy was always that he was not guilty that

night, as the jury has agreed. The obstacle was not the media onslaught,

because I'm used to that, but the media's need to convict him before the

trial. That was the challenge.' Combs did pre-trial interviews with MTV

and BET.

The New York tabloids ran wild with anti-Combs coverage, including the

New York Daily News, one of Klores' own clients. But the New York Post

proved the hardest to pitch. 'I basically gave up on the Post,' Klores

said. 'But I understood why they did it.' He even escorted Combs to a

Page Six party last February to prove they were unfazed by the


A gag order was imposed during the trial, so Klores found new avenues to

tell Combs' story, including The New York Times, which ran a long

feature about the star's mother.

Klores has entered court for his entertainment clients before. He worked

for the defendants in the Milli Vanilli class action suit, and for

Montel Williams during his sexual harassment suit, which was dismissed.

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