Advertisement

Gang-rape, drugging and assault: The grim allegations surrounding Sean "Diddy" Combs

Gang-rape, drugging and assault: The grim allegations surrounding Sean "Diddy" Combs

This week, Sean “Diddy” Combs has been sued by a music producer who accuses the billionaire hip-hop mogul of sexually assaulting him and forcing him to have sex with prostitutes.

The extensive 73-page suit, containing graphic details and photographs, accuses the Grammy-winning artist of repeated instances of unsolicited groping and sexual touching.

Combs' lawyer has called the events described as “pure fiction.” However, this marks the fifth lawsuit in recent moments involving sexual assault allegations against him.

Let's take a closer look at the dark web of accusations surrounding the Bad Boy Records founder:

Who is Sean "Diddy" Combs?

Sean 'Diddy' Combs arrives to the opening night of Oprah Winfrey's new Broadway play 'The Colour Purple' in 1 December 2005.
Sean 'Diddy' Combs arrives to the opening night of Oprah Winfrey's new Broadway play 'The Colour Purple' in 1 December 2005. - Credit: DIMA GAVRYSH/AP

Sean John Combs, better known by his stage names "Puff Daddy" and P.Diddy" or simply "Diddy', is an American rapper, producer, record executive and entrepreneur, who founded Bad Boy Records in 1993.

Establishing himself as one of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry, he is credited with discovering the likes of The Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans and Usher.

Outside of music, Combs has successfully ventured into areas like fashion, fragrance and media. He has been the brand ambassador for vodka brand Cîroc since 2007 and co-founded the television network and news website Revolt in 2013.

Forbes estimated his net worth to be at $1 billion (€922m) in 2022.

What are the specifics of the latest lawsuit filed against Sean "Diddy" Combs?

Rodney "Lil Rod" Jones alleges that Combs sexual harassed, drugged, and repeatedly psychologically threatened him from September 2022 to November 2023.

Jones, credited with producing nine tracks on Combs' Grammy-nominated 2023 album, "The Love Album," claims that during their collaboration, Combs subjected him to continual abuse.

“Throughout his time living with Mr. Combs, Mr. Jones was the victim of constant unsolicited and unauthorised groping and touching of his anus by Mr. Combs,” Jones’s filing claims.

In the filing, his lawyers claim he was drugged in February 2023 and "recalls waking up naked, dizzy, and confused. He was in bed with two sex workers and Mr Combs".

Jones further claims that Combs coerced him and his 30-year-old son, Justin Combs, into procuring sex workers for parties at Combs’ multiple houses, threatening "bodily harm" if they refused to comply.

The producer also asserts that he has "hundreds of hours" of video and audio capturing Combs and his staff "engaging in serious illegal activity" during that time.

The lawsuit claims that among these recordings is evidence of "Mr. Combs providing laced alcoholic beverages to minors and sex workers at his homes in California, New York, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Florida."

Additional defendants listed in the suit include Combs's chief of staff, Kristina Khorram, Universal Music Group chief executive Sir Lucian Grainge, and former Motown Records CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam.

Jones is seeking $30 million (€28m) in compensation.

What has Diddy's response been to the lawsuit?

Responding to the lawsuit, Combs' lawyer, Shawn Holley, dismissed it as "pure fiction", asserting that they have "overwhelming, indisputable proof that his claims are complete lies".

"We will address these outlandish allegations in court and take all appropriate action against those who make them."

What other sexual misconduct lawsuits has Diddy faced?

Sean "Diddy" Combs and Cassie attend Kanye West's Women's Fall-Winter 2013 fashion collection presentation at Paris Fashion Week.
Sean "Diddy" Combs and Cassie attend Kanye West's Women's Fall-Winter 2013 fashion collection presentation at Paris Fashion Week. - Credit: Zacharie Scheurer/AP

Jones' legal claim is one of several sexual assault lawsuits filed against Combs in recent months, including a case from his ex-girlfriend R&B singer Cassie that was settled last year.

Cassie, whose legal name is Casandra Ventura, alleged in the suit that Combs brought her into his “ostentatious, fast-paced, and drug-fuelled lifestyle” not long after she met him and signed to his label when she was 19 and he was 37 in 2005.

The suit alleged that, “prone to uncontrollable rage,” he subjected her to "savage" beatings in which he punched, kicked and stomped her. It accused that he plied her with drugs, and forced her to have sex with other men while he masturbated and filmed them

The suit was settled in just one day, with both parties saying it had been resolved “amicably".

After Cassie's claims, three other cases followed in quick succession, each alleging sexual assault.

Combs has denied all of them, saying: “Sickening allegations have been made against me by individuals looking for a quick payday. Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth.”

Legal representatives on behalf of Combs have been actively contesting the remaining lawsuits in court. In one of the recent filings, they argued that a claim from a woman alleging that Combs gang-raped her in 2003 when she was 17 is time-barred, despite the plaintiff's argument that it was revived by an amendment to a New York City law that introduced a window for expired claims to be filed.

Other legal cases involving Diddy

Sean Combs surrounded by fans and media as he and his attorney, Johnnie Cochran, right, leave State Supreme Court in New York, 16 May 2000.
Sean Combs surrounded by fans and media as he and his attorney, Johnnie Cochran, right, leave State Supreme Court in New York, 16 May 2000. - Credit: STUART RAMSON/AP

Combs has been entangled in dozens of legal issues throughout his career.

On 8 September 1999, Combs pled guilty to a charge of harassment, for bursting into rapper Nas' former manager, Steve Stoute's office and attacking him. He was sentenced to spend one day in an anger management class.

Later that year, a violent incident erupted at Club New York in Manhattan, involving Combs, his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez, and rapper Shyne. While Combs faced weapons-related charges and accusations of bribing his driver, he was ultimately acquitted, unlike Shyne who received a ten-year prison sentence.

His legal woes continued in 2015 when Combs was arrested for aggravated assault following an altercation with his son's football coach at University of California, though charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Throughout his career, Combs has also been linked to the murder of Tupac Shakur. Duane Keith "Keefe D" Davis, accused in connection with Shakur's 1996 killing, alleges that Combs orchestrated the assassination. He claims that Combs requested the killings of both Tupac and Suge Knight, offering a sum of $1 million (€922,000) for the murders. Davis is being trialed on 4 November later this year.