Former model sues Sean 'Diddy' Combs, claims he drugged, sexually assaulted her in 2003

Embattled music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs has been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a young model in the early 2000s.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Crystal McKinney alleges Diddy, then 34, assaulted the 22-year-old model at his New York City studio in 2003 and forced her to perform oral sex.

McKinney also claims the hip-hop icon derailed her career by having her “blackballed” in the modeling industry, despite earlier promising to help her professionally. The ordeal purportedly led to a decline in McKinney’s mental health, including “bouts of depression, anxiety, body image issues, feelings of worthlessness and intimacy issues.”

In a new lawsuit filed Tuesday, Sean "Diddy" Combs has been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a model in 2003.
In a new lawsuit filed Tuesday, Sean "Diddy" Combs has been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a model in 2003.

In recent months, Combs, 54, has faced a series of sexual assault lawsuits alleging he raped or sexually assaulted multiple women over the past few decades. In March, his Los Angeles home was raided by Homeland Security Investigations agents, reportedly in connection with an ongoing sex trafficking investigation in New York.

McKinney, who is described as a “woman of faith,” said she felt a “moral obligation” to come forward with her experience after seeing media coverage of Diddy's legal woes.

McKinney “prayed to God before bringing this lawsuit, as she feared further violence and/or retaliation from Defendant Combs, but ultimately decided that she needed to speak her truth,” the lawsuit reads. She “seeks justice for herself" and other alleged victims of Combs.

Combs’ companies Bad Boy Records, Sean John Clothing and Universal Music Group are also named as defendants in the case.

USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for McKinney and Combs for comment.

Crystal McKinney details alleged sexual assault by Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs

In the lawsuit, McKinney claims she met Combs after being invited to a Men’s Fashion Week event at New York City restaurant Cipriani Downtown by an unnamed fashion designer.

During the dinner, Combs allegedly “made a very public display of coming on to (McKinney) in a sexually suggestive manner” and plied McKinney with alcohol “as he repeatedly refilled her glass with wine.”

Per McKinney’s filing, the music mogul also told the model he was going to help advance her career and gave McKinney his phone number “as a gesture of good faith.” McKinney won MTV’s Model Mission contest in 1998 and had previously modeled for Tommy Hilfiger.

Combs invited McKinney to visit his studio later that night, according to the lawsuit, where she smoked marijuana with the “Hello Good Morning” rapper and his associates. McKinney alleges the marijuana joint “felt very powerful” and that it had been laced with “a narcotic or other intoxicating substance.”

Shortly afterward, Combs allegedly led McKinney to the bathroom, the filing states. After Combs forced himself onto her and kissed her “without her consent,” McKinney claims Combs “shoved her head down to his crotch” and forced her to perform oral sex.

Following the alleged assault, McKinney began to feel increasingly “woozy” and subsequently lost consciousness, per the complaint. The model later awoke inside a taxicab that drove her back to the fashion designer’s apartment.

Crystal McKinney says Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs ‘blackballed’ her in modeling industry after alleged assault

McKinney claims in the lawsuit that she was “blackballed” following her alleged assault by Diddy, as her “modeling opportunities quickly began to dwindle and then evaporated entirely.”

The model says she found herself in a “tailspin of anxiety and depression,” per the filing, which resulted in a hospitalization for a suicide attempt around 2004.

“Combs’ assault has altered the trajectory of (McKinney’s) career, denying her a successful and lucrative career in the modeling and film industries,” the lawsuit reads.

McKinney has also reportedly suffered from alcohol and drug addiction, as well as intimacy issues, as a result of Combs’ alleged assault, according to the former model’s complaint.

The lawsuit was filed under New York's Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law, which created a two-year lookback window for survivors of gender-motivated violence to seek legal action against their abusers, regardless of when the abuse took place.

McKinney is demanding a jury trial for the case. She is also seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for the “mental and emotional injury, distress, pain and suffering, and injury to her reputation.”

Contributing: Naledi Ushe, USA TODAY

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline offers free, confidential, 24/7 support to survivors and their loved ones in English and Spanish at: 800-656-HOPE (4673) and and en Español

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sean 'Diddy' Combs accused of sexual assault in former model's lawsuit