Raids flip up authorized warmth on Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs in sex-trafficking investigation

Raids flip up authorized warmth on Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs in sex-trafficking investigation

The rapper and mogul Sean Combs is dealing with mounting authorized troubles after federal brokers searched his properties in Los Angeles and Miami as a part of a sex-trafficking investigation.

On Monday morning, US Division of Homeland Safety brokers in tactical gear and armored automobiles raided two of Combs’ mansions as a part of an investigation by federal authorities in New York, sources advised the Related Press. An lawyer for Combs confirmed the searches on Tuesday, which he described as a “gross overuse of military-level pressure”, and stated Combs had cooperated with authorities.

Whereas Combs has not been named because the goal of the investigation, it follows quite a few sexual assault allegations towards the Dangerous Boy Data founder which have upended the profession of probably the most outstanding and enduring names in hip-hop.

In November, the singer Cassie, who dated Combs, accused him of rape and extreme bodily abuse spanning greater than a decade. In a stunning lawsuit full of harrowing accounts of abuse, Cassie alleged that Combs had subjected her to a cycle of abuse, violence and intercourse trafficking”, compelled her to have intercourse with male prostitutes, and used his highly effective community to maintain her trapped within the relationship. The pair settled sooner or later after the lawsuit was filed.

The house of Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs throughout a raid by federal regulation enforcement brokers on 25 March 2024 in Los Angeles, California. {Photograph}: MEGA/GC Photos

Within the months since, Combs – who has additionally been often called Puff Daddy, P Diddy, Diddy and Love – has confronted a number of extra lawsuits accusing him of rape, sexual assault, bodily violence and revenge porn. Combs has denied all allegations and stated he’ll “struggle for my title”.

Legal professional Douglas Wigdor, who represents Cassie and one other girl who sued Combs, stated in an announcement on Monday: “Hopefully, that is the start of a course of that may maintain Mr Combs liable for his wicked conduct.”

It isn’t but recognized whether or not Monday’s searches are linked to the allegations made towards Combs in current months, and Combs has not been charged. Officers haven’t publicly acknowledged that they searched his properties, however unnamed regulation enforcement sources have confirmed the raids to media.

Combs’ lawyer confirmed the searches in an announcement on Tuesday and stated he was by no means detained however spoke with authorities. Neither Combs nor his members of the family had been arrested and their capability to journey has not been restricted, stated Aaron Dyer, the lawyer.

Federal investigators stroll on a closed off highway exterior of a house owned by Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs in Los Angeles, California. {Photograph}: Caroline Brehman/EPA

“There is no such thing as a excuse for the extreme present of pressure and hostility exhibited by authorities or the best way his youngsters and workers had been handled,” Dyer stated. “This unprecedented ambush – paired with a sophisticated, coordinated media presence – results in a untimely rush to judgment of Mr Combs and is nothing greater than a witch-hunt based mostly on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits.”

Homeland Safety Investigations stated in an announcement on Monday that it “executed regulation enforcement actions as a part of an ongoing investigation, with help from HSI Los Angeles, HSI Miami and our native regulation enforcement companions.”

Footage captured by KABC, a neighborhood TV information station, confirmed a police line round a Los Angeles home within the prosperous Holmby Hills neighborhood close to Beverly Hills, and a gaggle of brokers within the house’s yard close to the pool. Los Angeles police had been additionally on the house on the time of the search, Fox LA reported.

Investigators briefly detained two of Combs’ sons exterior the house whereas the search was below approach.

Brokers arrange a command put up exterior the residence and brokers may very well be seen coming into and leaving for a number of hours after the search started.

Federal investigators in New York have interviewed a number of folks in relation to allegations of intercourse trafficking, home violence, sexual assault and the solicitation and distribution of unlawful narcotics and firearms, unnamed sources advised NBC and Rolling Stone.

Combs was in Miami on Monday and planning to go away to the Bahamas, NBC reported, and investigators seized telephones from him earlier than his scheduled departure. Flight trackers present {that a} personal aircraft belonging to Combs traveled from the Los Angeles space to Antigua on Monday, although Combs was not on it.

Regulation enforcement brokers stand on the entrance to a property belonging to Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs on Star Island in Miami Seaside, Florida. {Photograph}: Rebecca Blackwell/AP

The allegations towards Combs, a three-time Grammy winner who has labored with a number of the greatest names in music, have threatened his enterprise empire and his legacy. Greater than a dozen corporations lower ties with Revolt, the TV community Combs co-founded, after Cassie’s lawsuit and Combs quickly stepped down from his function as chair of the corporate in November. His most up-to-date album was nominated for greatest progressive R&B album on the Grammy awards, however Combs didn’t attend.

Dyer, Combs’ lawyer, stated that there was no discovering of legal or civil legal responsibility in regard to the current accusations. “Mr Combs is harmless and can proceed to struggle each single day to clear his title,” he stated.

Advocacy teams have praised Cassie for bringing Combs’ alleged crimes to gentle. Highly effective folks like Combs have been capable of escape accountability for too lengthy, Shaunna Thomas, the co-founder and govt director on the nationwide gender justice group UltraViolet, stated in an announcement. UltraViolet had pushed the Grammys to chop ties with Combs following Cassie’s allegations and to ban him from the awards present.

“Due to Cassie, and the three different girls who got here ahead to inform their tales, all of us now know the true Sean Combs,” Thomas stated. “His model offers have collapsed, fellow artists have distanced themselves from him and known as for accountability, and though he was nominated for a Grammy award this 12 months, he didn’t present up as a result of he knew he wouldn’t be welcome there.”

The Related Press contributed to this report

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