P Diddy: 'Pray For Me'
Sean P Diddy/Puff Daddy Combs is running the New York City marathon today. But last night at a private dinner for about 300 people, he told the assembled guests: "Pray for me. I mean it."
Combs's guests included his mother, Janice Combs, business partner Andre Harrell, young actresses Jordana Brewster (search), with her much younger sister Isabella; and Tara Reid, with her boyfriend, Chris Heinz, son of Teresa Heinz and stepson of Presidential hopeful Senator John Kerry (search).
Wyclef Jean (search), with his band featuring Jerry Wonder and his break dancing cousins, provided the entertainment free of charge.
They were all there to help Combs raise money for New York City public schools and his children's charity, Daddy"' House. You can read more about the charity at www.diddyrunsthecity.com.
Combs has been training for weeks to run the marathon even though he has no previous experience as a long distance runner and is sporting an easily injured knee. Still, one of the professional runners he flew in from the west coast to pace him told me last night at dinner, "He'll finish in three hours and fifteen minutes."
Of course it helped that there was a significant amount of spaghetti and chocolate cake for dinner last night. Those of who weren't running focused instead on lamb chops and vegetables.
But for once Combs himself was not the center of attention. That honor went to his butler or manservant, named Farnsworth Bentley, who wears suspenders and is clearly American. Bentley was very much in the spotlight last night, helping auction off diamond-encrusted watches made by Jacob the Jeweler, who was also present.
At the end of the night, after Combs had retired, "I have to go to bed but I want to stay here!" he told his cheering fans. Bentley thanked himself from the stage. He then continued the auction, pointing at the pair of multi-colored watches on each of his wrists. "I like pink myself," he said, indicating one.
But that was while Janice Combs -- in her blonde wig -- was doing a version of the Catwoman dance on stage while Wyclef led the band through a rocking Neal Hefti channeled riff on "Johnny B. Goode." (Bentley obviously didn't approve. He took the mike and said, "This is Wyclef Jean. He's playing rock and roll. Don't blame me.")
But P Diddy was gone by then, attired in white Nike workout clothes, presumably on his way home to get ready for the big race. If you can, try and catch the one hour video he made about training for MTV that began airing last night. It happens to be quite witty and well done, with Diddy poking fun at himself and this whole notion. I particularly liked the little fat kid who jogs along beside him during a practice, as well as the assistant who says, when Combs succumbs to a piece of fried chicken, "Diddy eats the city."