Wed, Dec 6, 2023 3:07 PM
By KAREN MATTHEWS, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — A woman sued the hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs on Wednesday, claiming he and two other men raped her 20 years ago in a New York City recording studio when she was 17.
The woman, whose name wasn’t disclosed in the court filing, is the fourth person to file a lawsuit in recent weeks accusing Combs of sexual assault.
In the lawsuit, the woman said she was in 11th grade at a high school in a Detroit suburb in 2003, when she met Harve Pierre, then the president of Combs' Bad Boy Entertainment record label, at a lounge.
She said Pierre flew her to New York on a private jet and took her to a recording studio, where she was given drugs and alcohol until she was incapable of consenting to sex. Then, the lawsuit said, Pierre, Combs and a man she didn't know took turns raping her.
The lawsuit included photographs of the woman sitting on Combs' lap that she said were taken on the night in question at the Daddy’s House Recording Studio.
Combs, 54, denied the allegations.
“For the last couple of weeks, I have sat silently and watched people try to assassinate my character, destroy my reputation and my legacy,” Combs said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”
A request for comment from Pierre was sent to Bad Boy Entertainment.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan follows three others accusing Combs of abuse.
A lawsuit by the singer Cassie containing allegations of beatings and other abuse was settled on Nov. 17, the day after it was filed. Before the settlement, Combs denied the allegations through his lawyer.
Two additional lawsuits against Combs were filed a week later.
One accuser, Joi Dickerson, said she was a 19-year-old college student when she agreed to meet Combs at a restaurant in Harlem in 1991. After their date, Combs “intentionally drugged” her, then brought her home and sexually assaulted her, according to the filing.
A separate lawsuit filed by an unnamed woman accused Combs and another man of sexually assaulting her and a friend, then beating her several days later.
Those lawsuits were among more than 3,700 legal claims filed under New York's Adult Survivors Act, which temporarily suspended certain legal deadlines to give sexual assault victims a last opportunity to sue over abuse that happened years or even decades ago.
That law expired last month, but the new suit against Combs — filed by a woman now living in Canada — was brought under a different law, New York City’s Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law. That city law also allows accusers to file civil complaints involving sexual assault claims after the statute of limitations has run out.
“As alleged in the complaint, Defendants preyed on a vulnerable high school teenager as part of a sex trafficking scheme that involved plying her with drugs and alcohol and transporting her by private jet to New York City where she was gang raped by the three individual defendants at Mr. Combs’ studio,” Douglas Wigdor, an attorney for the latest accuser, said in a statement. “The depravity of these abhorrent acts has, not surprisingly, scarred our client for life.”