What are the latest allegations made against Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs?

Shocking video footage shows the music mogul attacking his then-girlfriend Cassie, as two more women come forward with allegations, reports Andrea Cavallier

Wednesday 29 May 2024 15:31
Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs allegations
Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs allegations (AFP via Getty Images)

Sean “Diddy” Combs, a rapper and music mogul credited with helping launch the careers of some of the biggest stars in recent years, is now facing multiple civil lawsuits accusing him of sex trafficking, sexual abuse and rape.

Combs, formerly known as Puff Daddy, P. Diddy and a host of other names, has undergone a myriad of reinventions since the start of his career – but has since entered a new and unwelcome “era.”

Federal agents with US Homeland Security raided two of the rapper’s houses in Los Angeles and Miami on 25 March as he faces a string of varying accusations.

Combs, 54, has strongly denied all of the allegations against him. His attorneys have branded the lawsuits and their accusations as money grabs, “baseless” or “sickening.”

The entertainer has not been formally charged or accused by federal prosecutors of any crime.

On 17 May, surveillence footage captured at a hotel in Los Angeles in March 2016 showed Diddy chasing his then-girlfriend Cassie Ventura down the hallway before attacking her by the elevators. He then attempts to drag her back to his hotel room.

The following day, he shared an apology video to Instagram saying his behaviour was “inexcusable” and that he took “full responsibility for his actions in the video”.

The slew of allegations in lawsuits against Combs date as far back as the 1990s, when he founded his own record label, Bad Boy Records.

All the allegations against Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs:

Lawsuits against the rapper began on 16 November 2023 when he was sued by singer and dancer Cassie, his former partner, who alleged years of abuse.

It was filed under the New York Adult Survivors Act, just before it expired. This act offered a one-year window for adult victims of sexual assault to come forward with civil claims regardless of the statute of limitations.

Casandra ‘Cassie’ Ventura

R&B singer Cassie, whose full name is Casandra Ventura, filed a lawsuit in 2023 alleging that she was trafficked, raped and beaten by Combs on many occasions over 10 years.

Her lawsuit claimed that Combs brought the singer into his “ostentatious, fast-paced, and drug-fueled lifestyle” not long after she met him, and signed her to his label in 2005 when she was just 19 and he was 37.

Ms Ventura said that the pattern of abuse began as soon as their relationship started and that, as she was trying to end it in 2018, he forced himself into her Los Angeles home and raped her.

On May 17, surveillance footage obtained by CNN showed an incident which appeared to corroborate parts of Ms Ventura’s original complaint. The video from March 2016 showed Combs chasing her down the corridor of a Los Angeles hotel and proceeding to punch and kick her outside a set of elevators.

According to the complaint, which cited the altercation as occurring “around March 2016,” Combs became “extremely intoxicated and punched Ms Ventura in the face, giving her a black eye.”

The surveillance footage showed Combs leaving Ms Ventura then returning and shoving her into a corner. He is then seen hurling an object at her, which was also cited in her complaint.

Cassie (left) and Sean “Diddy” Combs at the 2017 Met Gala. Cassie filed a lawsuit in 2023 alleging that she was trafficked, raped and beaten by Combs on many occasions over the course of 10 years
Cassie (left) and Sean “Diddy” Combs at the 2017 Met Gala. Cassie filed a lawsuit in 2023 alleging that she was trafficked, raped and beaten by Combs on many occasions over the course of 10 years (Getty Images)

On Sunday (19 May), Combs released a video apologising for his actions in the video, calling his behaviour “inexcusable” and saying he “takes full responsibility for his actions in the video”.

The lawsuit against Combs was settled for an undisclosed amount of money a day after Ms Ventura filed it.

Ms Ventura told CNN she had chosen to “resolve this matter amicably,” while Combs’ attorney said the settlement was “in no way an admission of wrongdoing” and didn’t change his denial of the allegations.

Her accusations against Combs were brought through the New York Adult Survivors Act (ASA), which expired at midnight on 23 November 2023.

The act provided survivors a one-year window to pursue civil litigation regardless of when the abuse occurred, meaning incidents from decades were finally brought to light.

More than 2,500 cases were filed under the ASA before its expiry at midnight on 23 November 2023, court data sent to The Independent showed.

Survivors brought lawsuits against some of the state’s most powerful men, including major players in entertainment, such as Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Axl Rose, and Combs.

Rodney ‘Lil Rod’ Jones

In the most recent lawsuit against Combs, filed on 26 February 2024 in New York, producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, alleged he was “subjected to unwanted advances by associates of Diddy at his direction” and that he was forced to engage in relations with the sex workers Combs had hired.

The producer, who worked for Combs between September 2022 and November 2023 claimed Combs sexually harassed, drugged and threatened him for more than a year.

He said he has video and audio evidence of Combs, his staff and others “engaging in serious illegal activity.” The lawsuit identified Rapper 50 Cent‘s former girlfriend and the mother of one of his children, Daphne Joy, as one of the alleged sex workers.

The lawsuit also alleges that Combs regularly hosted “sex-trafficking parties” with underage women and illegal drugs, and implies record label executives who looked the other way financially benefited from access to celebrities and dignitaries, including the British royal Prince Harry.

Prince Harry is not accused of any wrongdoing or of attending parties himself.

Combs’s attorney told The Los Angeles Times that the lawsuit contains “reckless name-dropping about events that are pure fiction and simply did not” occur.

Ryan Mendelsohn, 20, who used to live in the area where Combs’ Los Angeles property was searched, told reporters he would see parties at the home and women outside until 6am, which was not usual.

“I drive by a lot, and I see that — a lot of girls, maybe five or six girls outside, some leaving, some not, some going in,” he said, according to NBC News.

“I never thought anything of it,” Mr Mendelsohn, who added that he did not know Combs lived there until Monday’s news broke. “But now, it’s crazy.”

Joie Dickerson-Neal

In November 2023, Joie Dickerson-Neal filed a lawsuit alleging that Combs drugged her, sexually assaulted her and secretly recorded the assault while she was a college student in 1991, NBC News reported, citing the filing.

She claimed that Combs pushed her to go to dinner with him and she agreed “reluctantly” on 3 January 1991, which is when she alleges she was drugged, “resulting in her being in a physical state where she could not independently stand or walk,” the BBC reported.

The suit also claims he recorded the assault and showed it to other people.

She later filed police reports in New York and New Jersey, spoke to prosecutors, but was told by colleagues they were “terrified that Combs would retaliate against them and that they would lose future business and music opportunities if they made a statement in support of” her, NBC News reported, citing the lawsuit.

More women come forward

Since November, three more women have come forward with lawsuits in the Southern District of New York alleging that they were sexually assaulted by Combs, according to NBC News.

Two of the women said they were teenagers at the time of the alleged assaults.

Anonymous Plaintiff

In November, an anonymous plaintiff accused Combs and singer-songwriter Aaron Hall of raping her and a friend in 1990 or 1991 after meeting at an MCA Records event in New York, where the singers “were very flirtatious and handsy” and offered them drinks, Rolling Stone reported.

The suit alleges that Combs and Hall invited the women to Hall’s apartment for an afterparty where the plaintiff “was offered more drinks and was coerced into having sex with Combs,” and was “shocked and traumatized” afterwards, before “Hall barged into the room, pinned her down and forced Jane Doe to have sex with him,” according to Rolling Stone.

After she spoke to her friend, the plaintiff allegedly found out she had also “been forced to have sex with Combs and Hall in another room,” according to the suit.

A few days later, Combs allegedly visited the plaintiff and her friend at a home where they were staying, where he became “irate and began assaulting and choking Jane Doe to the point that she passed out,” the lawsuit alleges.

Unnamed Accuser ‘Jane Doe’

In December, Combs was hit with another lawsuit which claimed he had drugged and gang-raped a 17-year-old girl in 2003.

The plaintiff, identified as Jane Doe, accused Combs of plying her with drugs and alcohol at his New York studio and then raping her along with two associates.

The suit accused Combs of a “sex trafficking scheme,” in which Jane Doe was flown by private jet from her home in Michigan to New York.

Diddy has denied all of the allegations against him
Diddy has denied all of the allegations against him (Getty Images)

In May, after the shocking CCTV footage of Combs attacking Venture was published, former model Crystal McKinney filed a new lawsuit claiming the rapper sexually assaulted her at his recording studio in New York City in 2003.

McKinney said she was a successful 22-year-old model when she met Combs at a restaurant during Men’s Fashion Week in Manhattan. Combs invited her to his recording studio later that night, according to the federal complaint filed in New York City.

The lawsuit alleged that McKinney arrived to find Combs drinking and smoking marijuana with several other men. She smoked some marijuana, which she “later came to understand” was laced with a narcotic or intoxicating substance, the lawsuit said.

She alleged that Combs led her to the bathroom where she was forced to perform oral sex on him.

Days after McKinney’s lawsuit was filed, April Lampros – who met Diddy while she was a student – claimed Diddy had sexually assaulted multiple times between 1995 and the early 2000s.

Lampros said she met the rapper in 1994 while she was a college student at the Fashion Institue of Technology in New York and interning at Arista, then the parent company of Diddy’s label Bad Boy Entertainment.

After meeting her at a bar in New York, she “succumbed to pressure” to drink alcohol after “delusional and violent outbursts”, according to the federal complaint filed in New York City.

Lampros claimed she began to feel like the “walls were closing in on her” after sipping her drink and Combs escorted her back to a hotel. The lawsuit alleged Combs forced himself on Lampros despite her protests. “Ms Lampros was being raped by Mr Combs, and she soon passed out,” it said.

The rapper allegedly then “love-bombed her” and his advances later “manifested into an aggressive, coercive and abusive relationship based on sex”.

The lawsuit claimed Combs assaulted Lampros a second time by physically forcing her to perform oral sex in a garage near his apartment in Manhattan. When the student attempted to distance herself from the rapper following the assault he allegedly gave her “gifts and empty promises” before turning “angry, threatening and forceful” and claiming he would destroy her career.

In 1996, Combs sexually assaulted Lampros for a third time when he forced her and his ex-girlfriend Kim Porter to take ecstasy and have sex together, the lawsuit alleged. Combs masturbated while he watched the women together before assaulting Lampros, the filing claimed.

Lampros says she ended her relationship with Combs two years later. However, when she saw him at an event at the Rockefeller Center in the early 2000s he begged to see her again and she allowed him to come to her apartment where he kissed and touched her against her will, the lawsuit alleged.

In 2023, Lampros alleges an unidentified man approached her partner at the time and said he had seen a sexual video of Lampros and Combs years earlier. Lampros was informed “Mr Combs apparently recorded them having sex without her knowing and showed it to multiple people,” the filing claimed.

Diddy issued an apology to Cassie
Diddy issued an apology to Cassie (Diddy)

Combs’s response to allegations

Sean Combs has strongly denied all the accusations against him and vowed to “fight for my name, my family and for the truth.”

In a statement in December, following the lawsuit brought by Jane Doe, he called the claims “sickening” and said his accusers were “looking for a quick payday”.

“Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged,” he said in a statement. “I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth.”

Combs’ lawyer, Shawn Holley, branded the events described in the lawsuit as “pure fiction”.

Usher reveals what he saw at Diddy's home when he was 13

“We have overwhelming, indisputable proof that his claims are complete lies,” he said. “We will address these outlandish allegations in court and take all appropriate action against those who make them.”

Following the settlement with Ventura, Ben Brafman, another attorney for Combs, told The Independent: “Just so we’re clear, a decision to settle a lawsuit, especially in 2023, is in no way an admission of wrongdoing.

“Mr. Combs’ decision to settle the lawsuit does not in any way undermine his flat-out denial of the claims.

“He is happy they got to a mutual settlement and wishes Ms Ventura the best.”

Shortly after the release of footage that shows Combs attacking Ms Ventura in a hotel hallway, Combs condemned his own actions and apologised in a video posted to social media.

In the clip, Combs refers to the incident as “one of the darkest times in his life”, saying that he was “f***ed up” and is “disgusted by his actions”.

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