Entertainer Jennifer Lopez will not take the stand at the New York weapons trial of former boyfriend Sean "Puffy" Combs, the singer-actress said yesterday (Feb. 27). "As Sean will testify on his own b

Entertainer Jennifer Lopez will not take the stand at the New York weapons trial of former boyfriend Sean "Puffy" Combs, the singer-actress said yesterday (Feb. 27). "As Sean will testify on his own behalf, he and his lawyers have decided at this time it is not necessary for me to testify," she said in a statement released by Combs' publicist and confirmed by her spokesperson. "I have told Sean that if he and his lawyers change their minds and require me to testify I will be there immediately to tell the truth."

Combs issued a statement confirming that since he intends "to testify on my own behalf, I feel it is no longer necessary for Jennifer to be involved."

Combs, 31, and his bodyguard, Anthony "Wolf" Jones, 34, are charged with two counts of gun possession. A third suspect, Jamal "Shyne" Barrow, 21, is charged with three counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting three patrons at a New York nightclub on Dec. 27, 1999.

Combs is also charged with bribery for allegedly offering his driver $50,000 to take the gun rap for him. Collateral for the alleged bribe was a diamond ring that Lopez had given Combs as a present, prosecutors said. The pair released a statement on Valentine's Day that they had split up.

Experts had said the media frenzy a court appearance by the 30-year-old Lopez could incite may not be worth the trouble for Combs.

"I don't mean to sound like an old fogey, but much of the thinking behind whether she testifies depends on what she has to say," veteran defense attorney Ron Kuby said.

For the defense, the advantage of calling Lopez was clear: She's perhaps the hottest star in the country right now, and the appearance of such a smart, attractive witness could bolster Combs' standing with the jury.

On the downside, trial testimony shows Lopez was nowhere near Combs when a gunfire-punctuated melee began inside Club New York. She would be unable to say whether Combs pulled a weapon there, as several prosecution witnesses have testified.

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