Sean 'Diddy' Combs allegations: Timeline and what to know (2024)

Sean Diddy Combs has been hit with a wave of civil lawsuits in recent months and is now a subject of a federal investigation, sources have told NBC News.

Federal agents this week executed searches of Combs’ properties, where guns were found, and his phones were seized at an airport as part of a warrant issued from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, law enforcement sources have said.

Since November, Combs has been hit with five lawsuits in New York accusing him of sexual assault, sexual trafficking and engaging in other criminal activity. Combs has denied all of the allegations, calling them sickening.

A source familiar with the matter told NBC News that at least four people have been interviewed about allegations of sex trafficking, sexual assault and the solicitation and distribution of illegal narcotics and firearms.

Aaron Dyer, an attorney for Combs, described the raids this week as a “gross overuse of military-level force.” Neither Combs nor any of his family members have been arrested, Dyer noted in his statement.

Sean 'Diddy' Combs allegations: Timeline and what to know (1)

Here are the lawsuits that were filed against Combs prior to the raid. Combs has denied all of the allegations individually through statements by his representatives.

November 2023: Cassie and two others file suit

The singer Cassie, Combs’ former romantic partner, shocked many in November when she filed a civil suit against Combs alleging that the music mogul sexually and physically abused her during the course of their relationship. She filed her case on Nov. 16 under New York state’s Adult Survivors Act, which gave adult victims of sexual violence a one-year window to file civil claims regardless of the statute of limitations.

In the suit, Cassie alleged that Combs raped her, beat her in fits of “uncontrollable rage” and exerted a “tight hold over her life.” She alleged that he would force her to engage in sex acts he called “Freak Offs” with other men, often sex workers whom he’d pay to travel with them, while he watched.

The abuse ranged from 2007 until Cassie left him in late 2018, the suit said.

Combs vehemently denied the allegations from Cassie, whose full name is Casandra Ventura. They settled the suit a day after it was filed.

Joi Dickerson-Neal said Cassie’s lawsuit inspired her to come forward and file a suit against Combs on Nov. 23, a day before the Adult Survivors Act was set to expire.

Dickerson-Neal said that Combs drugged her, sexually assaulted her and recorded the assault without her knowledge while she was a student in 1991. She agreed to have dinner with Combs on Jan. 3, 1991, in Harlem while on winter break from Syracuse University, according to her suit.

It was there that Combs “intentionally drugged” her and then took her to a place where he was staying, the suit said. Dickerson-Neal said she “lacked the physical ability or mental capacity to fend Combs off” as he sexually assaulted her.

She later learned from a male friend that Combs had filmed the assault and showed it to other people, the suit said. Combs denied her allegations.

On the last day of eligibility under the Adult Survivors Act, Liza Gardner filed a lawsuit accusing Combs of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 years old.

Gardner alleged that in either 1990 or 1991 she and a friend met Combs and R&B singer Aaron Hall at an event held by MCA Records in Manhattan. After the party, she was invited back to Hall’s apartment with Combs, the suit said, and the two offered her drinks throughout the night.

Combs then coerced her into having sex, the suit said, leaving Gardner “shocked and traumatized.” Hall barged into the room after Combs was done, pinned her down, and sexually assaulted her, according to the suit.

Hall did not return NBC News’ request for comment on the lawsuit. Combs denied Gardner’s allegations in a statement through his representative.

December 2023: Jane Doe says she was gang-raped at 17

Then in December, a Jane Doe filed a lawsuit alleging that she was gang-raped and sex-trafficked by Combs and Harve Pierre, a former longtime president of Combs’ record label. The unidentified woman said the assault happened in 2003, when she was 17 and Combs was 34.

Sean 'Diddy' Combs allegations: Timeline and what to know (2)

According to the suit, she met Combs and Pierre at a lounge in Detroit and Combs convinced her to travel with them on a private jet to New York City. Before they left the lounge, the suit said, Pierre smoked crack cocaine and forced Doe to perform oral sex on him.

Doe was taken to a studio in New York City, where Combs, Pierre and a third defendant plied her with “copious amounts of drugs and alcohol,” the suit said. The three men took turns raping her in a bathroom at the studio after she was too inebriated to consent, according to the suit.

The men allegedly left her on the bathroom floor once they were done and she was flown back to Michigan, the suit said. Combs denied the assault allegations and Pierre called the suit “a tale of fiction.”

February 2024: Rodney Jones accuses Combs of ‘RICO enterprise’

In February, a man named Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones alleged in a federal suit that Combs and his associates engaged in “serious illegal activity.”

Jones worked as a producer on Combs’ latest album, but also lived and traveled with him from September 2022 to November 2023, according to his lawsuit. He alleged that during that time he was sexually harassed by Combs, pressured to engage in sexual acts, forced to procure sex workers for Combs and witnessed Combs giving drinks laced with drugs to people at parties.

The suit said that Combs required Jones to “record him constantly,” which resulted in Jones obtaining hours of footage in which Combs and his staff allegedly engaged in criminal conduct. Screenshots of video clips were included in the suit, described as being from parties in which underage girls and sex workers were present.

Jones alleged that Combs was attempting to groom him into having a sexual relationship with him. The lawsuit said that Combs sexually harassed and assaulted Jones while he lived at Combs’ homes in Florida, Los Angeles and New York, as well as on a yacht Combs rented in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Sean 'Diddy' Combs allegations: Timeline and what to know (3)

Jones alleged that he and another man, Brendan Paul, were asked to travel with drugs and firearms on Combs’ behalf.

In amended filings, Jones additionally accused Combs and his son of being involved in a 2022 shooting at a Los Angeles recording studio, which both men denied.

An attorney for Combs said Jones’ “reckless name-dropping about events that are pure fiction and simply did not happen is nothing more than a transparent attempt to garner headlines.”

March 2024: Combs’ homes searched by federal agents

On March 25, agents with Homeland Security Investigations raided Combs’ properties in Los Angeles and Miami. Three sources familiar with the matter told NBC News that firearms were found at his residences, but no additional details were provided.

At the time of the raids, Combs was on his way to a scheduled trip to the Bahamas and was stopped at a Miami airport prior to departure. Officials seized his cellphones, sources said.

Dyer, one of Combs’ attorneys, issued a statement following the raids and said that Combs “was never detained but spoke to and cooperated with authorities.” He described the raid as an ambush, saying there’s been a rush to judgment based on “meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits.”

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

Brendan Paul, 25, was arrested at the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport at the same time Combs was stopped at the airport. A law enforcement source familiar with the matter confirmed that Paul is a Combs associate. It is currently unclear whether the arrest was related to the raids.

Paul was named as an employee of Combs’ in Jones’ suit, which described him as someone who acquires and distributes drugs and guns on Combs’ behalf. Combs allegedly required Paul and others he paid to carry black pouches that contained drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine, ketamine, marijuana and mushrooms.

A Miami-Dade police report showed Paul was charged with possession of suspected cocaine and suspected marijuana candy, and court records show he was bonded out of custody the next day.

According to the police report, local law enforcement was with agents from Homeland Security and customs officers at the time of Paul’s arrest. The contraband items were found in Paul’s travel bags, the report said.

Paul’s attorney, Brian Bieber, told NBC News, “We do not plan on trying this case in the media — all issues will be dealt with in Court.” A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for Paul hung up on an NBC News reporter.

April 2024: Combs' son, Christian Combs, is accused of sexual assault

Grace O’Marcaighalleges in a lawsuit that Christian Combs drugged and sexually assaulted her while she was working on a yacht the elder Combs had chartered for a trip at the end of 2022.The suit also names Sean Combs as a defendant. The assault is alleged to have occurred days before Sean Combs hosted a New Year’s Eve yacht party withcelebrity guests.O'Marcaigh included as evidence transcriptions of audio clips — that were recorded by a producer — of her denying his advances as he gropes her. NBC News has heard two clips of audio transcribed in the suit purportedly from the night of Dec. 28, 2022, but has not verified who was recorded.

Representatives for Christian and Sean Combs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

May 2024: Video surfaces of 2016 assault on Cassie in hotel

Months after Cassie's civil suit was settled, CNN obtained a video that shows Combs attacking Cassie in an assault she described in the suit.

The network reported the incident was captured in a Los Angeles hotel in March 2016, and though there is no audio there are multiple angles of the hallway.

It begins with a woman identified as Cassie walking down to a bank of in a hooded sweatshirt and holding what seems to be her bags in hand. Then a man, identified as Combs, is seen running down the hall wearing a towel around his waist.

Combs then walks up behind Cassie near an elevator, grabs her and throws her to the ground and kicked her twice. He then begins dragging her by her sweatshirt while she is on the ground.

Moments later, Combs sits down in a chair and appears to pick up an object and throw it in her direction. The video does not include audio.

Days after the video was made public, Combs issued a statement on his social media apologizing for his behavior.

He also stated that he sought therapy and rehab following the incident, which he described as one of his "darkest" times.

“My behavior on that video is inexcusable,” Combs said. “I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I’m disgusted. I was disgusted then when I did it. I’m disgusted now.”

Meredith Firetog, an attorney for Cassie, said in a statement that Combs’ apology video was “more about himself than the many people he has hurt.”

“When Cassie and multiple other women came forward, he denied everything and suggested that his victims were looking for a payday,” Firetog said. “That he was only compelled to ‘apologize’ once his repeated denials were proven false shows his pathetic desperation, and no one will be swayed by his disingenuous words.”

CORRECTION (April 2, 2024, 9:40 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article misspelled the first name of one of Combs’ accusers. She is Joi Dickerson-Neal, not Joie.

Doha Madani

Doha Madani is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News. Pronouns: she/her.

Diana Dasrath

Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms.

Andrew Blankstein

Andrew Blankstein is an investigative reporterfor NBC News. Hecovers the Western U.S., specializing in crime, courts and homeland security.

Sean 'Diddy' Combs allegations: Timeline and what to know (2024)
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