Behind the calamitous fall of hip-hop mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs (Los Angeles Times)
Four separate plaintiffs have filed civil lawsuits against Combs in the last month accusing him of rape, sex-trafficking a minor, assault and a litany of other alleged abuses, imperiling his empire and sending shock waves through the music industry. Combs and his attorneys have denied the accusations.
His former girlfriend Casandra Ventura, the singer known as Cassie, accused him of rape and forcing her to have sex with male prostitutes in front of him, along with repeated physical assaults. (Combs quickly settled the suit.) Joi Dickerson-Neal accused Combs in a suit of drugging and raping her in 1991, recording the attack and then distributing the footage without her consent. Liza Gardner filed a third suit in which she claimed Combs and Guy singer Aaron Hall sexually assaulted her. The most recent suit alleges Combs and former Bad Boy label president Harve Pierre gang-raped and sex-trafficked a 17-year-old girl. Pierre said in a statement the allegations were “disgusting,” “false” and a “desperate attempt for financial gain.” Hall could not be reached for comment.
Many were surprised by how quickly Combs and Ventura settled their lawsuit — just 24 hours after it was first filed. Dr. Ann Olivarius, an attorney who specializes in discrimination and sexual harassment cases, pointed to Ventura’s decision to involve Diddy’s billion-dollar companies.
“What Cassie did, which was brilliant — she didn’t just sue Diddy, she sued him and every corporation he owned or directed,” Olivarius said.
In the suit, Ventura named Bad Boy Entertainment, Bad Boy Records, former label partner Epic Records and Combs Enterprises.
“His exposure is so high, that the risk of having him at these companies will decrease their insurability,” Olivarius said. “So the boards of these companies may take the executive decision to let him go.”