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Oprah, Trump and a Who’s Who of Hollywood hype Diddy’s 1998 birthday bash in unearthed VHS party invitation




How times change!

Amid the explosive Diddy abuse Scandal, a source sent Page Six a jaw-dropping VHS tape that was sent out as an invitation to the mogul’s 29th birthday in 1998.

The nearly six-minute video serves both as a time-capsule from the peak of the Bad Boy era and as a reminder of how far Diddy — who even skipped this year’s Grammy Awards — has slipped socially amid the investigation.

The tape — which arrived in the hands of the most powerful and glamorous players in Los Angeles and New York in a black-velvet pouch with “The Birthday Gala, November 4 1998” written on it in white script — features Oprah, Donald Trump, Derek Jeter, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, Mariah Carey, Magic Johnson, Will Smith, Ben Stiller, Joan Rivers, Wyclef Jean, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Tommy Hilfiger, Clive Davis, Ronald Perelman, Penny Marshall, Robin Leach and Stephen Baldwin, among others, taking turns to hype the bash, encourage the recipients to RSVP and to goof off for the camera.

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey was one of many celebrities who appeared in a video invitation to Diddy’s 29th birthday party in 1998. Page Six
Oprah, Trump and a Who's Who of Hollywood hype Diddy's 1998 birthday bash in unearthed VHS party invitation
Trump called the rapper the “legendary P Diddy.” Page Six
The video serves as a time capsule to Diddy’s fame and just how far he’s fallen. Getty Images
Diddy posing with Angie Harmon and his cake at the party.
Diddy posing with Angie Harmon and his cake at the party. Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Liaison

It begins with a strange home video-style skit in which Danny Devito — lying on a sofa under a blanket — says, “That’s right, Puff Daddy is having a party, and this is Puff Daddy inviting you to come! Let’s have a ball!”

Then the cavalcade of A-Listers take turns reading from a script detailing the date and time, exactly how fabulous (and expensive) the affair will be, and then reading an address to RSVP to. They say that the venue — which turned out to be Cipriani Wall Street — would be revealed later.

Trump refers to the “I’ll Be Missing You Rapper” as “The legendary P Diddy,” some — including Rock and Degeneres — tease Diddy for his many names, and some make fun of their own unease with hip hop slang.

Oprah, Trump and a Who's Who of Hollywood hype Diddy's 1998 birthday bash in unearthed VHS party invitation
Chris Rock cracked jokes in the invitation about Diddy’s many nicknames. Page Six
Ellen Degeneres
Ellen DeGeneres was included in the star-studded video. Page Six

“I’d forgotten how much was made of [the party in the press],” said one scenester emeritus who attended the bash, “I think bigger celebs and moguls were fascinated by the chutzpah of this 29-year-old kid.”

The Daily News reported at the time that the bash cost $600,000 and that 1,600 people were on the list.

As well as those in the video, Henry Winkler, Aerin Lauder, Mike Tyson, Minnie Driver, Mark Wahlberg, Lenny Kravitz, Kevin Costner, Sarah Ferguson, Martha Stewart, Jay Z and Naomi Cambell were also on the scene.

The Observer compared it to Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball at the Plaza, writing that while Capote’s party feted “the crème de la crème of society, Mr. Combs was celebrating the kind of high-profile commercial success and notoriety that knows no racial or class bounds.”

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey attending Diddy’s party at Cipriani’s in New York City on November 4, 1998. Penske Media via Getty Images
Jay-Z posing at Diddy’s party in 1998. Penske Media via Getty Images

Diddy’s ex girlfriend Cassie also sued him in December, accusing him of rape and other forms of abuse. In March his homes in Miami and Los Angeles were raided as part of what appears to be a sex trafficking investigation conducted by the Department of Homeland Security.

Diddy has denied wrongdoing.