What Exactly Is Going on With Sean "Diddy" Combs' Complicated Legal Woes

Sean “Diddy” Combs Shares First Social Media Post Amid Federal Investigation

When Sean "Diddy" Combs' ex-girlfriend Cassie accused him of sexual assault, battery and sex trafficking in a Nov. 16 lawsuit, his lawyer said the Bad Boy Entertainment mogul "vehemently denied" her "offensive and outrageous allegations."

They reached a settlement the next day. The singer born Cassandra Ventura, who dated Combs for the better part of a decade until their 2018 breakup, stated she'd chosen to resolve the matter "amicably on terms that I have some level of control." Combs' attorney said the settlement was "in no way an admission of wrongdoing."

But that was only the beginning of Combs' current slew of legal woes.

In a lawsuit filed Nov. 23, Joi Dickerson-Neal accused Combs of drugging and assaulting her when she was a student at Syracuse University in 1991, stating in court documents, per NBC News, that Cassie's lawsuit "forced her to face his assault again."

A spokesperson for Combs told E! News at the time that Dickerson-Neal's story was "made up and not credible." 

photosSean "Diddy" Combs' Family Tree

Plaintiff Liza Gardner filed suit the same day, alleging Combs and another singer sexually assaulted her at the latter's New York apartment in 1990 or 1991 following a music industry event.

What Exactly Is Going on With Sean "Diddy" Combs' Complicated Legal Woes

On Nov. 24, the New York Adult Survivors Act—which in 2022 gave adult sexual assault survivors a one-year window to sue no matter when the statute of limitations had passed for the alleged crime—expired. (The limit was three years before 2019 and has since been changed to 20, but not retroactively.)

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In response, an attorney for Combs told NBC News, "The claims involving alleged misconduct against Mr. Combs from over 30 years ago and filed at the last minute are all completely denied and rejected by him. He recognizes this as a money grab. Because of Mr. Combs' fame and success, he is an easy target for accusers who will falsify the truth, without conscience or consequence, for financial benefit. The New York Legislature surely did not intend or expect the Adult Survivors Act to be exploited for improper purposes. The public should be skeptical and not rush to accept these unsubstantiated allegations."

On Nov. 28, Combs' Revolt TV network announced that he was stepping down as chairman. Combs, who cofounded the digital channel in 2013, didn't have an operational or day-to-day role in the business, Revolt said in a statement, but "this decision helps to ensure that Revolt remains steadfastly focused on our mission" to create meaningful content for Black audiences everywhere.

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Days later Combs was sued by a Jane Doe who alleged she was 17 when Combs, former Bad Boy label president Harve Pierre and an unnamed man gang-raped and sex-trafficked her in 2003. (In a statement, Pierre called the allegations "disgusting," "false" and a "desperate attempt for financial gain," according to the Los Angeles Times.)

After the fourth lawsuit, Combs spoke out on Instagram Dec. 6, calling the accusations "sickening" and charging that the plaintiffs were trying to "assassinate" his character in search of a "quick payday."

He concluded: "I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth."

The lawsuits other than Cassie's are still pending. But all was quiet on the eastern and western fronts of Combs' empire for a couple of months.

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Combs and Pierre filed respective responses to Jane Doe's suit on Feb. 20, both denying her allegations. In his filing, according to NBC News, Pierre stated he didn't participate in a sexual assault of the woman, nor did he witness one.

The plaintiff's attorney Michael J. Willemin told NBC News in a statement that the "deeply troubling allegations against the defendants by multiple women" spoke for themselves.

Then Combs was sued for the fifth time in four months when producer Rodney "Lil Rod" Jones accused Combs in a lawsuit filed Feb. 26 in a New York federal court of sexually harassing, drugging and threatening him for more than a year while he worked on the rapper's 2023 LP, The Love Album: Off the Grid.

Regarding the latest complaint, an attorney for Combs said, "We have overwhelming, indisputable proof that his claims are complete lies."

GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images

Combs hasn't been charged with any crimes related to the accusations detailed in these lawsuits, but he is now the subject of a federal criminal investigation, sources told NBC News.

On March 25, federal agents raided Combs' Los Angeles and Miami mansions in connection with allegations of sex-trafficking and sexual assault, a source familiar with the matter told NBC News, as well as suspected solicitation and distribution of illegal narcotics and firearms. Three women and one man had been interviewed in the course of the investigation, according to the source. 

Guns were found and confiscated from both properties and Homeland Security investigators seized Combs' phones in Miami before he was scheduled to leave for a trip to the Bahamas, law enforcement sources told NBC News.


Not naming Combs as a target, Homeland Security Investigations New York confirmed in a statement that the agency "executed law enforcement actions as part of an ongoing investigation with assistance from HSI Los Angeles, HSI Miami and our local law enforcement partners."

Meanwhile, Combs' attorney Aaron Dyer slammed the raids as a "gross overuse of military-level force."

"There is no excuse for the excessive show of force and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way his children and employees were treated," he said in a statement to E! News. "Mr. Combs was never detained but spoke to and cooperated with authorities. 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."

photosMusicians Performing Live on Stage

On the afternoon his 17,000-square-foot home in L.A.'s posh Holmby Hills neighborhood and his waterfront Star Island estate in Miami were being searched, Combs was at Miami-Opa-locka Executive Airport (where private jets come and go), as seen in video obtained by TMZ.

Two of Combs' sons were at the L.A. house when agents showed up and were made to wait outside, according to KTTV Fox 11, which captured aerial and ground footage of the property during the raid.

Dyer's statement continued, "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. 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."

Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

It's unclear if Combs ever took off for the Bahamas, but the father of seven was spotted at Topgolf in Miami on March 28 with his twin 17-year-old daughters D'Lila and Jessie. (Their mom was Kim Porter, who died in 2018.) He flashed a peace sign at the paparazzi.

Combs publicly marked Easter Sunday by sharing photos of his youngest child, 15-month-old daughter Love, whom he shares with model Dana Tran. The Instagram slide show featured Love in several pink and floral outfits signaling that it's springtime.

Last April, the Holmby Hills house was the scene of an intimate listening party for Combs' The Love Album: Off the Grid, an independent release from his label Love Records and his first studio album since 2006's Press Play.

He told his guests, per the Los Angeles Times, that his intent was to "bring love back to R&B music."

The album dropped Sept. 15, two months before Cassie filed her lawsuit. Read on for all the details of the investigation now circling Combs:

(E! and NBC News are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)

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