Share

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ federal raids on homes, sexual misconduct lawsuits: what to know

[ad_1]

Sean “Diddy” Combs faced multiple allegations and lawsuits in the last few months, culminating in the raids on his residences by Homeland Securities Investigations (HSI) earlier this week.

A U.S. official confirmed to Fox News that the raids on Combs’ homes Monday were connected to a federal human trafficking investigation. It is unclear if the rapper is the target of the federal agents’ investigation.

“Can we talk about sex crimes under one umbrella? Sure,” criminal defense lawyer Donna Rotunna, who was part of Harvey Weinstein’s legal counsel throughout his New York trial, said. “I think you can make an Epstein-Diddy comparison based on what we know, but I think Weinstein is a bridge too far.” 

SEAN ‘DIDDY’ COMBS HUMAN TRAFFICKING INVESTIGATION RAID IS ‘JUST THE BEGINNING’ OF LEGAL HURDLES: EXPERT

Sean Combs sits in front of red backdrop

Sean Combs faces multiple sexual assault lawsuits. (Getty Images)

“There was never, ever, ever a conversation that involved Harvey Weinstein with a minor, not one time,” she said. “I think we have to be careful to make that distinction.”

The entertainment industry was hit with numerous sexual abuse claims in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which began with the dozens of allegations waged against Weinstein in 2017.

RAPPER SEAN ‘DIDDY’ COMBS’ HOMES RAIDED BY HOMELAND SECURITY

Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison after being convicted in February 2020 of forcing oral sex on TV and film production assistant Mimi Haley in 2006 and third-degree rape of hairstylist Jessica Mann in 2013.

Mug shot of Jeffrey Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein mugshot, 2019. (Kypros/Getty Images)

Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell in 2019, one month after his arrest on federal charges for sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York. He had previously pleaded guilty to prostitution charges as part of a plea deal, and served 13 months in a Palm Beach jail.

Harvey Weinstein rape sentence New York court

Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison following February 2020 rape conviction. (Scott Heins)

JAMIE FOXX, AXL ROSE, SEAN COMBS AMONG VIPS NAMED IN SEX ABUSE SUITS BEFORE NEW YORK LAW EXPIRED

Criminal defense attorney Elmira Yousufi told Fox News Digital, “Even if the investigation does not lead to an arrest or criminal charges, the damage to his [Diddy’s] reputation may be irreparable. Even worse, if the investigation produces incriminating evidence in support of sex trafficking, then he is looking at not just the loss of his reputation, but the likely loss of his freedom.” 

In November, Cassie, legally known as Casandra Ventura, accused Combs of raping her in her own home, enduring “over a decade” of his “violent behavior and disturbed demands” and forcing her to have sex with male prostitutes while he watched and filmed. 

Diddy and Cassie sit on a couch

Cassie claimed she endured more than a decade of abuse at the hands of Sean “Diddy” Combs. (Getty Images)

Combs “vehemently” denied Cassie’s claims in a statement provided to Fox News Digital at the time, and alleged that he was the victim of her “persistent demand of $30 million, under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail.”

WATCH: DID SEAN ‘DIDDY’ COMBS CROSS SOMEONE?

 

One day after she filed the claim, Combs and Cassie came to an amicable resolution, and she dropped the lawsuit. “I have decided to resolve this matter amicably on terms that I have some level of control. I want to thank my family, fans and lawyers for their unwavering support,” Cassie wrote. Combs said in his own statement that the decision was agreed upon by both parties, and he had no ill will toward the singer.

Three more women came forward with claims just before New York’s Adult Survivors Act expired in December.

SEAN ‘DIDDY’ COMBS’ ACCUSER ADDS CUBA GOODING JR. TO SEXUAL ASSAULT LAWSUIT

Joi Dickerson-Neal alleged that Diddy drugged, sexually assaulted and abused her while she was attending Syracuse University, according to the lawsuit filed on Nov. 23 and obtained by Fox News Digital. Dickerson-Neal claimed Combs intentionally drugged her while on a date. After dinner, Diddy allegedly took her to his recording studio and then to a place he was staying and sexually assaulted Dickerson-Neal.

Sean "Diddy" Combs

Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Los Angeles and Miami homes were raided Monday. (Jordan Strauss)

She claimed Diddy recorded their non-consensual sexual encounter and “distributed” it, making her a victim of “revenge porn.”

On the same day her suit was filed, Liza Gardner filed a lawsuit against Diddy for battery and sexual assault. After attending an event hosted by MCA Records, Gardner and a friend joined Diddy and his friend, Aaron Hall, for an after party. While there, Gardner alleged she was “coerced” into having sex with Diddy and then was raped by Hall after.

Days later, Combs allegedly violently assaulted Gardner at a home she was staying at with a friend, court docs stated.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER

Jane Doe alleged she was sexually assaulted by Combs and the president of his entertainment company, Harve Pierre, along with a third individual when she was 17 years old, according to court documents obtained by Fox News Digital.

Diddy denied the claim, saying in a statement shared with Fox News Digital: “Enough is enough. For the last couple of weeks, I have sat silently and watched people try to assassinate my character, destroy my reputation and my legacy.”

A music producer, Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, who sued Combs for sexual assault in February, added actor Cuba Gooding Jr. to his complaint on Monday. Jones, who produced “The Love Album: Off the Grid,” claimed he lived with the “I’ll Be Missing You” singer for extended periods of time and accused Combs of sexual assault and forcing him to perform sex acts with prostitutes.

Combs’ legal team slammed Jones’ accusations as “complete lies,” and claimed the producer was “nothing more than a liar who filed a $30 million lawsuit shamelessly looking for an undeserved payday,” Combs’ attorney Shawn Holley told Fox News Digital at the time.

HSI confirmed the raids on Diddy’s homes in Holmby Hills and on Star Island in a statement shared with Fox News Digital on Monday, saying, “Earlier today, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York executed law enforcement actions as part of an ongoing investigation, with assistance from HSI Los Angeles, HSI Miami, and our local law enforcement partners. We will provide further information as it becomes available.”

Sean Combs Los Angeles home with Homeland Security Investigators

Homeland Security officials raided Combs’ LA home on Monday. (Getty Images)

LIKE WHAT YOU’RE READING? CLICK HERE FOR MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

One day later, Diddy declared his innocence and denied the “meritless accusations” waged against him as he spoke out for the first time in a statement released through his attorney, Aaron Dyer.

“Yesterday, there was a gross overuse of military-level force as search warrants were executed at Mr. Combs’ residences. There is no excuse for the excessive show of force and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way his children and employees were treated. Mr. Combs was never detained but spoke to and cooperated with authorities,” Dyer said. “Despite media speculation, neither Mr. Combs nor any of his family members have been arrested nor has their ability to travel been restricted in any way.” 

“This unprecedented ambush — paired with an advanced, coordinated media presence — leads to a premature rush to judgment of Mr. Combs and is nothing more than a witch hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits,” he added.

Rapper Sean Combs Los Angeles home surrounded by law enforcement agents

Officers stood near Combs’ home in Los Angeles as part of the HSI investigation. (FOX 11)

“There has been no finding of criminal or civil liability with any of these allegations. Mr. Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name.”

Rotunno believes that Diddy’s statement on Tuesday will likely be the only words offered up for a while. 

“This is the last we’re going to hear from him until we know more,” she said. “Counsel’s advice, I’m sure, is saying ‘lay low; say nothing.’ Really, all he can do is wait until they either come after him, or, who knows if they think this is something bigger. Maybe this is some scare tactic to say, ‘tell us what you know, and we won’t come after you.'”

“The first one to the table gets the best deal. Is he the pinnacle or is he the bottom?”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

[ad_2]

Source link