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A closer look at the sexual misconduct lawsuits against Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs

Even before law enforcement raided his homes, the rapper, producer and businessman Sean “Diddy” Combs faced a host of legal issues.

Since November 2023, he has faced multiple separate civil lawsuits accusing him of a range of sexual misconduct and other illegal activity. One of those cases has already been settled, but the others remain active.

Several of the lawsuits allege misconduct was captured on video. In addition, some were filed under the New York Adult Survivors Act, which created a one-year window for adult victims to file a lawsuit against their alleged abusers and the institutions that enabled them, regardless of statutes of limitations. This one-year window ended on November 24, 2023.

Authorities searched Diddy’s homes on March 25 because he is a target of a federal investigation carried out by a Department of Homeland Security team that handles human trafficking crimes, according to a senior federal law enforcement official briefed on the investigation. The investigation stems from many of the same sexual assault allegations put forth in the civil lawsuits, according to a second law enforcement source familiar with the searches.

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The music mogul’s attorney, Aaron Dyer, issued a statement calling the searches a “gross overuse of military-level force.”

“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 said. “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.”

Here’s a closer look at each of the lawsuits, what they allege and how Diddy has responded.

Ventura v. Combs

Cassie Ventura has accused Diddy, her former boyfriend, of rape and abuse. - Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Cassie Ventura has accused Diddy, her former boyfriend, of rape and abuse. - Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The basics: Casandra Ventura, the R&B singer known as Cassie who previously dated Diddy, filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on November 16, 2023, against Diddy and the companies Bad Boy Records, Bad Boy Entertainment, Combs Enterprises, Epic Records and Doe Corps. 1-10.

The allegations: Ventura alleged she was raped and subjected to years of violent abuse by Diddy. The lawsuit accuses him of sex trafficking, human trafficking, sexual assault and battery, gender-motivated violence, sexual harassment, gender discrimination and a hostile work environment.

The suit specifically described an altercation at a hotel hallway around March 2016 in which Diddy “grabbed at her,” beat her and threw glass vases at her.

Diddy’s response: Attorney Ben Brafman said in a statement emailed to CNN via Diddy’s publicist, “Mr. Combs vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations.”

The statement continued, “For the past 6 months, Mr. Combs, has been subjected to Ms. Ventura’s persistent demand of $30 million, under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail. Despite withdrawing her initial threat, Ms. Ventura has now resorted to filing a lawsuit riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aiming to tarnish Mr. Combs’ reputation and seeking a pay day.”

In May 2024, CNN published hotel surveillance video from 2016 in which Combs grabbed, shoved, dragged and kicked Ventura and threw an object at her in a hotel hallway. Afterward, Diddy posted a video apologizing, saying “My behavior on that video is inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my actions in that video.”

Where the case stands: The lawsuit was settled “amicably” just a day afterward, both sides said. “A decision to settle a lawsuit, especially in 2023, is in no way an admission of wrongdoing,” Brafman said.

Dickerson-Neal v. Combs

The basics: Joi Dickerson-Neal filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court on November 23 against Diddy, Bad Boy Entertainment doing business as Bad Boy Records, and Combs Enterprises LLC.

The allegations: Dickerson-Neal accused Diddy of drugging and sexually assaulting her in 1991, when she was a Syracuse University student who had appeared with Combs in a music video. She also alleged she was a victim of “revenge porn,” saying he filmed the assault and showed it to others.

Diddy’s response: A spokesperson said the allegations are “made up and not credible,” adding the move is “purely a money grab.”

“This last-minute lawsuit is an example of how a well-intentioned law can be turned on its head,” the spokesperson said. “Mr. Combs never assaulted her, and she implicates companies that did not exist.”

Where the case stands: In April, attorneys for Diddy and the other defendants asked the court to throw out portions of the suit, denying the allegations and claiming certain allegations against Combs “were brought under statutes that did not exist at the time the alleged misconduct occurred” and thus could not be revived under the Adult Survivors Act.

Gardner v. Combs

Sean "Diddy" Combs has been accused of misconduct in multiple lawsuits filed since November. - Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images
Sean "Diddy" Combs has been accused of misconduct in multiple lawsuits filed since November. - Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images

The basics: In a lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court on November 23 and in an amended complaint on March 12, Liza Gardner sued Diddy, Aaron Hall, MCA Inc., MCA Music Entertainment Group, Geffen Records, Universal Music Group NV, John and Jane Does 1-10 and ABC Corps. 1-10.

The allegations: Gardner accused Combs and Aaron Hall, a member of the R&B group Guy, of battery and sexual assault in 1990, when she was 16 years old.

She alleged that after they gave her alcoholic drinks, Diddy forced her into having sex and Hall pinned her down and forced her to have sex. The next day, Diddy assaulted her and choked her until she passed out, the lawsuit states.

Diddy’s response: In December, Diddy posted on Instagram denying the claims.

“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,” he said. “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.”

CNN has reached out to Hall for comment. He has not yet publicly spoken about the allegations.

Where the case stands: Gardner’s attorneys have moved to voluntarily discontinue the case and refile it in New Jersey state court, where the assault allegedly occurred. Attorneys for UMG and the other music companies also moved to dismiss the case, arguing the claims are “time-barred” and “otherwise deficient as a matter of law.”

Jane Doe v. Combs

The basics: An anonymous woman using the name Jane Doe filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on December 6 against Diddy, Harve Pierre, an unnamed third assailant, Daddy’s House Recordings Inc. and Bad Boy Entertainment Holdings Inc. Doe filed an amended complaint on March 29.

The allegations: Doe accused Diddy, Pierre and a third person of sex trafficking and gang rape in 2003, when she was a 17-year-old high school student.

Diddy’s response: In court filings, Diddy formally denied the allegations and told the court the lawsuit should be dismissed because the woman’s “decision to wait more than two decades to file her complaint has prejudiced” him because he has “lost the ability to defend himself fully and fairly.” He also argued the evidence may now be “unavailable, lost, or compromised” and that “witness identification, availability, and recollections are likely compromised due to the substantial passage of time.”

Pierre, the former president of Bad Boy Records, filed a 15-page response asking the court to dismiss the complaint. He said he “never participated in the sexual assault of the Plaintiff nor did he ever witness anyone else sexually assaulting the Plaintiff.”

Daddy’s House Recordings Inc. and Bad Boy Entertainment Holdings Inc. have also filed motions asking the court to dismiss the case.

Where the case stands: Attorneys for Diddy, Daddy’s House and Bad Boy Entertainment have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the case was “baseless and time-barred.”

Lil Rod v. Combs

The basics: Rodney Jones, a music producer and videographer who went by Lil Rod, filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on February 26 against Diddy and a number of other defendants. The suit was refiled on March 4, and proposed amended complaints were filed on March 25 and March 27.

The allegations: The lawsuit specifically accuses Diddy of racketeering, sexual assault and sex trafficking in 2022 and 2023 as Jones worked on Diddy’s most recent album “Love.” Jones also alleges Combs did not compensate him for his music producing work.

In addition, the lawsuit accuses Cuba Gooding Jr. of sexual assault and makes reference to several other celebrities by name and by description.

Diddy’s response: Diddy’s attorney denied the allegations and called Jones’ claims “lies.”

“His reckless name-dropping about events that are pure fiction and simply did not happen is nothing more than a transparent attempt to garner headlines. We have overwhelming, indisputable proof that his claims are complete lies,” attorney Shawn Holley said.

An attorney for Gooding has not responded to CNN’s request for comment.

Where the case stands: Some of the defendants moved to dismiss the case. Jones subsequently moved to voluntarily dismiss them, and the court ordered them removed from the case.

O’Marcaigh v. Christian and Sean Combs

Christian Combs is accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit filed April 4 in Los Angeles Superior Court. - Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
Christian Combs is accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit filed April 4 in Los Angeles Superior Court. - Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

The basics: Grace O’Marcaigh, who worked as a crew member and bartender on a yacht leased by Diddy and his family in December 2022, named Sean Combs and his son Christian Combs in a lawsuit filed April 4 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The allegations: Christian Combs is accused of sexual assault in the lawsuit. His father is accused of premises liability and aiding and abetting his son.

The lawsuit alleges the yacht experience was “sold as a wholesome family excursion” but turned into a “hedonistic environment” where suspected sex workers and other celebrities were often brought aboard.

In the early morning of December 28, Christian Combs pressured O’Marcaigh to drink a shot of tequila and shortly thereafter he assaulted her, the lawsuit says. O’Marcaigh believes the tequila, which she says Christian Combs brought aboard, may have been laced with drugs, according to the lawsuit.

On the yacht, Christian Combs “cornered” O’Marcaigh in a room and “became physical and extremely aggressive,” the lawsuit states. The alleged sexual assault stopped only when another yacht employee entered the room.

Diddy’s response: Aaron Dyer, an attorney for Combs and his son, said in a statement the lawsuit contains “manufactured lies and irrelevant facts.”

Where the case stands: Dyer said he will seek to “dismiss this outrageous claim.”

McKinney v. Combs

The basics: Crystal McKinney, a former model and winner of MTV’s 1998 Model Mission competition show, filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on May 21 against Combs, Bad Boy Records and Sean John Clothing LLC, and Universal Music Group Inc.

The allegations: In the lawsuit, McKinney claimed that she was “drugged and sexually assaulted” by Combs in 2003, when she was 22 years old, following a Men’s Fashion Week event in New York City.

She sued the defendants for violation of the New York Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law.

Diddy’s response: CNN has reached out to representatives for Combs, Bad Boy Records, Sean John Clothing LLC, and Universal Music Group Inc. for comment.

Where the case stands: The defendants have not yet responded to the suit, according to the court docket.

Lampros v. Combs

The basics: April Lampros, who met Diddy in 1994 when she was a student at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, filed a lawsuit in New York County Supreme Court on May 23 against Combs and other entities and unnamed people.

The allegations: Lampros accused Combs of four instances of sexual assault from the mid-1990s to the early-2000s. The suit further accuses the rap mogul of battery, assault, negligent infliction of emotional distress and violation of the victims of gender-motivated violence protection law.

Diddy’s response: Diddy has not directly responded to the allegations.

Where the case stands: The document has not yet been reviewed by the county clerk.

CNN’s Ray Sanchez, Dalia Faheid, Alli Rosenbloom, Lisa Respers France, Elizabeth Wagmeister, Cheri Mossburg and Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.

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