Hip-hop mogul Sean Combs was shocked when he heard his former protege G. Dep had been convicted of murder because he was never one to resort to violence.
The embattled rapper, real name Trevell Coleman, turned himself in to police in 2010 and confessed to shooting 17-year-old John Henkel during a botched robbery in New York in 1993.
He later tried to retract the confession and pleaded not guilty to the charge, claiming he had been under the influence of drugs when he made the admission.
However, the Special Delivery star was convicted of the killing last month (Apr12) and is now facing at least 15 years in prison for the crime.
Combs admits the news and the subsequent verdict came as a real surprise and he feels for G. Dep because he was "such a great talent".
In a radio interview with New York DJ Funkmaster Flex on Wednesday (02May12), he said, "I was like, 'Wow'. None of that was in G. Dep's nature. When there were certain things that he was going through with the substance abuse situation, he'd be a different person, but on an every day (basis), he was probably one of the nicest, most quietest, shyest, most humble cats that were out there. It was just so out of his character that it was mind-blowing.
"After the main announcement, I had heard that he had retracted his confession. I said, 'OK, maybe he was under the influence when he confessed.' Then out of nowhere, they said he was convicted and it's a shame because he's such a great talent and it all kind of stemmed from substance abuse."