Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs abuse allegations: A timeline of key events

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Newly released video appears to show Sean “Diddy” Combs beating his former singing protege and girlfriend Cassie in a Los Angeles hotel in 2016.

The video was aired by CNN Friday six months after the R&B singer filed a lawsuit that set off a wave of similar cases and public allegations against one of the most influential music moguls of the past three decades.

NOTE: The video in the media player is disturbing.

Here’s a look at the key events that have unfolded since late last year.

NOVEMBER 16, 2023

Cassie says in a lawsuit that Combs subjected her to years of abuse, including beatings and rape. Cassie, whose legal name is Cassandra Ventura, signed to Combs’ label in 2005, and the two were on-again-off-again romantic partners for more than a decade starting in 2007. The suit filed in federal court says Combs was “prone to uncontrollable rage” and subjected her to “savage” beatings. It says he plied her with drugs, forced her to have sex with other men, and raped her in her home as she was trying to end the relationship in 2018. Combs, through his attorney, “vehemently denies” the accusations.

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

With staggering speed, Ventura’s lawsuit is settled the day after it is filed. The terms of the agreement are kept confidential. “We have decided to resolve this matter amicably,” Combs says in a statement. “I wish Cassie and her family all the best. Love.”

NOVEMBER 23, 2023

Two more women accuse Combs of sexual abuse in lawsuits filed on the eve of the expiration of the Adult Survivors Act, a New York law permitting victims of sexual abuse a one-year window to file civil action regardless of the statute of limitations. The suits, filed by Joi Dickerson and another woman who was not named, allege acts of sexual assault, beatings and forced drugging in the early 1990s by Combs, then a talent director, party promoter and rising figure in New York City’s hip-hop community. Combs’ attorneys called the allegations false.

Sean “Diddy” Combs is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that he and two other men raped a 17-year-old girl in a New York recording studio in 2003.

NOVEMBER 28, 2023

Combs temporarily steps down as chairman of his cable television network, Revolt, because of the wave of sexual abuse allegations. It would be one of several business setbacks for Combs brought on by the lawsuits.

DECEMBER 6, 2023

A woman alleges in another lawsuit that in 2003 when she was 17, Combs and two other men raped her. The suit filed in federal court in Manhattan says she was living in a Detroit suburb and was flown to a New York studio, where she was given drugs and alcohol that made her incapable of consenting to sex, and the men took turns raping her. Combs says in a statement that “I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth.”

FEBRUARY 26, 2024

A music producer files a lawsuit alleging Combs sexually assaulted him and forced him to have sex with prostitutes. The suit gives a long list of potentially illegal activities dealing with drugs and sex that the producer says he witnessed. A lawyer for Combs calls the allegations “pure fiction.”

March 25, 2024

Homeland Security Investigations serves search warrants in early morning raids on Combs’ homes in Los Angeles and Miami in what officials tell The Associated Press is a sex-trafficking investigation. Combs was at one of his homes in Miami at the time. His two sons, at his home in Los Angeles, were handcuffed during the search, Combs’ attorneys said. Officials did not say whether the raids were prompted by the civil lawsuits, but Combs’ attorneys said they believed they were.

MARCH 26, 2024

Combs’ lawyer calls the raids “a gross use of military-level force” and says Combs is “innocent and will continue to fight” to clear his name. The attorney, Aaron Dyer, says there is “no excuse for the excessive show of force and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way his children and employees were treated.”

APRIL 4, 2024

A lawsuit that names Combs as a co-defendant alleges that his son Christian “King” Combs sexually assaulted a woman working on a yacht chartered by his father. The suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court says Sean Combs created the circumstances that led to the assault and paid to cover it up afterward. An attorney for the two men calls the allegations “outrageous.”

The suit alleges Christian Combs coerced the yacht worker to consume tequila before sexually abusing her, and the drink may have been mixed with drugs.

APRIL 26, 2024

In the first major piece of legal pushback from Combs and his team, they file a motion to dismiss several elements of Dickerson’s lawsuit because they were not illegal in 1991 when the alleged incidents occurred. While the legal objections are procedural, the filing also slams the “numerous false, offensive, and salacious accusations” in the lawsuit.

MAY 10, 2024

Combs asks a federal judge to dismiss the Dec. 6 lawsuit that alleged he and two co-defendants raped a 17-year-old girl from Michigan in a New York recording studio. Again, the objections are procedural – alleging the suit was filed too late under the law – but the court document calls its claims “false and hideous.”

May 17, 2024

CNN airs video that appears to show Combs attacking Ventura in hotel hallway in 2016. The video closely mirrors an assault described in her lawsuit, which said Combs had already punched her that night, and she was trying to leave the InterContinental Hotel in Los Angeles when he woke and came after her. In the footage, a man who appears to be Diddy, wearing only a towel, punches Ventura, kicks her, and throws her on to the floor. The lawsuit alleges Combs paid $50,000 to take away the video at the time. Combs’ representatives had no immediate comment.

The Associated Press doesn’t typically name people who say they have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly, as those named here have.

Copyright © 2024 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.