Swat team raid and $30million rape and sex trafficking lawsuit against hip hop mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs


For the party-loving prince, spending time with rock stars and rappers rather than fusty old royals might have seemed like a good idea at the time.

However, Prince Harry may now regret his youthful appearance with hip hop mogul and music producer Sean ‘Diddy‘ Combs.

Seventeen years after the fresh-faced prince was photographed embracing the flamboyant superstar backstage after the charity fundraising Concert For Diana at Wembley Stadium, the Duke of Sussex has been named in a bombshell $30million lawsuit claiming that Combs is a predatory rapist and sex trafficker.

The lawsuit, one of a string of recent accusations of serious sexual misconduct by 54-year-old Combs, was filed just weeks before Monday’s co-ordinated raids by federal agents and police on Combs’ homes in Los Angeles and Miami.

Lawyers for music producer Rodney ‘Lil Rod’ Jones claim that the flamboyant Combs – whose various stage names include Puff Daddy and P Diddy – made unwanted sexual advances towards him.

Prince Harry poses with rapper Kanye West and Sean 'Diddy' Combs after the 2007 Concert For Diana at Wembley

Prince Harry poses with rapper Kanye West and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs after the 2007 Concert For Diana at Wembley

He also alleges that, over a year, Combs plied him with drugs, threatened him and forced him to hire prostitutes and have sex with them during wild house parties for the star’s voyeuristic pleasure.

Jones claims that underage girls as well as prostitutes were at the parties and that he saw the star drug their drinks. He also claims he has hundreds of hours of videos documenting ‘serious illegal activity’ by Combs – a man who has faced dozens of lawsuits over the decades, many of them involving allegations of violence – and his staff and guests.

The latest suit, which was filed last month, doesn’t suggest any wrongdoing by the prince, who is not a defendant. However he is mentioned once in passing in court papers that say people were attracted to Combs’s parties because of ‘access to celebrities such as famous athletes, political figures, artists, musicians and international dignitaries like British Royal, Prince Harry’.

Combs, estimated to be worth $1billion, was ‘known for throwing the ‘best’ parties’, alleges the 73-page lawsuit, and claims the fact that the star had been photographed with the likes of Prince Harry gave Combs and his co-accused ‘legitimacy’.

It remains unclear if the prince – who has yet to comment – knew Combs beyond the concert held in his mother’s honour in 2007. His co-host that night, Prince William, is not named in the lawsuit.

Combs has denied the allegations, calling them ‘sickening’, and his lawyer in February dismissed Jones’s claims as ‘pure fiction’, describing Jones as a ‘liar’ who is ‘shamelessly looking for an undeserved payday’.

A heavy police presence gathers outside Diddy's home in Los Angeles this week

A heavy police presence gathers outside Diddy’s home in Los Angeles this week

Armed officers are involved in the raid on Sean Combs's property this week

Armed officers are involved in the raid on Sean Combs’s property this week

Jones, however, is hardly the only one levelling sordid allegations against Combs, one of the biggest stars in hip hop and a major figure in the music industry for decades.

Monday’s raids were reportedly connected to various lurid court claims in New York, including allegations in December by a woman claiming she was gang raped and sex trafficked by Combs in 2003 when she was just 17 and still at school. She is the fourth woman to bring sexual assault allegations against him.

Supported by helicopters and police dogs, Monday’s raids in Los Angeles and Miami were led by squads of Department of Homeland Security agents. In LA they swooped on his mansion in the wealthy Holmby Hills neighbourhood near Beverly Hills, entering along with a SWAT team equipped with combat gear, assault rifles and an armoured car. Investigators said they had to go in force because Combs was known to employ armed guards.

Two of Combs’ seven children – Justin, 30, and King, 25 – were taken away from the LA house in handcuffs but were released without charge. At the same time as the raids, 25-year-old Brendan Paul, accused by Jones of being the star’s ‘drug mule’, was arrested at Miami Airport for alleged possession of cocaine and cannabis.

There were suspicions that Combs – who was not at either home when agents arrived – had fled the country after his black Gulfstream private jet was tracked flying to Antigua earlier that day. However, he was instead spotted at Miami Airport ‘looking tense’.

Ryan Mendelsohn, 20, a former neighbour, recalled witnessing outrageous scenes outside Combs’ LA mansion when he threw parties, as scores of bikini-clad women would pitch up in limos through the night.

‘I’ve seen girls get out of the car in swimwear,’ he said.

Harlem-born Combs is a highly successful businessman who went from launching his own music label, Bad Boy Records, to lucrative ventures in fashion, food and television. Although he notched up a few hits of his own, such as I’ll Be Missing You, in 1997, which sampled The Police song Every Breath You Take, he has achieved far more producing music for a raft of other performers.

The uber-narcissistic Combs has celebrated his success as conspicuously as any mega-star – blowing £5.4million on a diamond necklace, £36million on a yacht and even splashing out nearly £330,000 on Krug champagne for just one party.

However, it has long been alleged that the star, who liked to dress in dazzling white, has a dark underside. And his past appears to have caught up with him in recent months.

In November he was sued for sexual assault by Casandra Ventura, his former girlfriend and an R&B singer signed to his Bad Boy label. In legal papers she accused him of forcing her to have sex with male prostitutes for a decade. As those encounters took place in cities across the US, she claimed she had been a victim of sex trafficking.

She also described how Combs had allegedly plied her with drugs, beat her and made her have sex with well-endowed black male prostitutes – sometimes wearing masks and costumes – while he watched and pleasured himself.

Sean Combs, otherwise known as P Diddy or Puff Daddy (pictured in 2022) has been accused of serious sexual misconduct towards both women and men

Sean Combs, otherwise known as P Diddy or Puff Daddy (pictured in 2022) has been accused of serious sexual misconduct towards both women and men

She said Combs would call these sordid events, held in various luxury hotels, ‘freak outs’, and claims she was required to wear lingerie, white nail polish and cover herself in oil.

According to the lawsuit, Combs once got so drunk at a freak out that he punched her in the face, giving her a black eye. Ventura, who met Combs in 2005 when she was 19 and split up from him in 2018, said she had to take drugs to cope with the mental damage wrought by these ‘horrific encounters’.

Her lawsuit noted how Combs, while receiving a prestigious music award in 2022, gave her a ‘special shoutout’ as someone who would ‘hold me down in the dark times’. Her civil suit was settled just a day after she filed it, with both sides saying it had been resolved ‘amicably’ on terms that have not been disclosed. Combs denied the allegations.

Yet her claims only opened the floodgates to others. Three other women have come forward with lawsuits in New York – two of the accusers claimed to have been at high school at the time of their encounters with him.

Douglas Wigdor, a lawyer representing Ventura and an unnamed woman, said he hoped Monday’s raids were the beginning of a process that ‘will hold Mr Combs responsible for his depraved conduct’.

Tyrone Blackburn, a lawyer for fellow accusers Jones and Liza Gardner, echoed that sentiment, saying: ‘It’s about damn time. Sometimes justice delayed is not justice denied, so long as justice ultimately arrives.’

Last December, as the lawsuits seemed to be closing in on him, Combs issued a statement saying: ‘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.

‘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.’

He isn’t accused of sexually abusing only women.

Jones, who produced nine songs for a 2023 Diddy album called The Love Album: Off The Grid, claims the star assaulted him as well and subjected him to ‘constant’ sexual harassment and groping. He alleges Combs would walk around naked in front of him, touching his genitals and anus.

When he complained to Combs’s chief-of-staff, Kristina Khorram, saying he was a ‘heterosexual Christian man’, she reportedly told him, ‘You know, Sean will be Sean’, his lawsuit claims.

Jones says that he believes Combs was ‘grooming him to pass him off to his friends’, including the actor Cuba Gooding Jr (who is not a party in the lawsuit), who, he says, made sexual advances to him on Combs’s yacht.

Jones, who is seeking $30million in damages, also named Combs’s adult son, Justin, his chief of staff, Khorram, Universal Music Group’s British chief executive Sir Lucian Grainge, and former Motown Records boss Ethiopia Habtemariam as co-defendants. He claims Sir Lucian and others ‘knew or should have known about’ Combs’ unlawful conduct.

‘It is no secret that Combs had specific bottles of alcohol designated for females, and other bottles designated for his staff, his artists and himself,’ the lawsuit claims. ‘Grainge knew or should have known that Mr Combs was drugging the attendees through laced bottles of DeLeon Tequila, and Ciroc Vodka.’

Shawn Holley, Combs’ lawyer, said the accusations were false, adding in a statement: ‘We have overwhelming, indisputable proof that his claims are complete lies.’

Those named as co-defendants in the lawsuit, including Sir Lucian, as well as Cuba Gooding Jr, have yet to comment.

NBC News recently reported that Combs has faced legal action or settlement payouts more than four dozen times over his four-decade career. Half a dozen of those concerned allegations of him either committing violence or having others commit it for him.

However he has rarely faced criminal charges.

In 2015 he was arrested on suspicion of attacking his son’s university American Football coach with a kettle bell but prosecutors declined to press charges.

In 1995, a limo driver said he was beaten up by bodyguards that Combs had hired to protect his singer Mary J Blige. Combs was ordered to pay him $450,000 but the judgment was overturned on appeal.

Four years later he was arrested for beating up a rival record company executive, Steve Stoute, over a row about a music video scene in which Combs is nailed to a cross. Combs later apologised and Stoute asked prosecutors to drop the charges.

That same year, Combs was in trouble again when he was arrested for being in criminal possession of a weapon following a shooting at a New York nightclub. He was later acquitted of weapons and bribery charges.

Of course that night in Wembley back in 2007 was all for a good cause. But not for the first time, Prince Harry may now feel that, given the appalling list of claims levelled against Combs, he let his exuberance get the better of him.



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