P Diddy: Raids on Sean Combs’ homes were ‘unprecedented ambush’, lawyer says | Ents & Arts News

Police raids on two properties owned by rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs were an “unprecedented ambush” and a “gross use of military-level force”, his lawyer has said.

Combs’ homes in Los Angeles and Miami were searched by Homeland Security Investigations agents on Monday.

The searches were connected to a sex trafficking investigation by federal authorities in New York, US news outlets reported yesterday.

In the first statement released on behalf of the rapper and music mogul since Monday’s raids, his lawyer Aaron Dyer said: “Yesterday, there was a gross overuse of military-level force as search warrants were executed at Mr Combs’ residences.

“There is no excuse for the excessive show of force and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way his children and employees were treated.

“Mr Combs was never detained but spoke to and cooperated with authorities.

“Despite media speculation, neither Mr Combs nor any of his family members have been arrested nor has their ability to travel been restricted in any way. This unprecedented ambush – paired with an advanced, coordinated media presence – leads to a premature rush to judgment of Mr Combs and is nothing more than a witch hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits.

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

Sky’s US partner network NBC News understands that several phones were seized from Combs in Miami on Monday before he was scheduled to depart on a trip to the Bahamas.

According to NBC News, three women and a man have been interviewed by federal officials in Manhattan in relation to the sex-trafficking investigation and further allegations of sexual assault, solicitation and distribution of illegal narcotics and firearms.

Representatives for Combs did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment.

The American music mogul, 54, has been the subject of several lawsuits, including for sexual assault, in recent months.

In February, a music producer filed a lawsuit alleging Combs coerced him to solicit sex workers and pressured him to have sex with them.

Combs’ lawyer said that for those allegations, “we have overwhelming, indisputable proof that his claims are complete lies”.

The rapper’s former protege and girlfriend, R&B singer Cassie, sued him in November alleging she was trafficked, raped, plied with drugs and beaten by Combs over a 10-year period.

The lawsuit said he forced her to have sex with male sex workers while he filmed them. The suit was settled the day after it was filed.

Also in November, Combs was sued by Joie Dickerson-Neal who claimed he drugged and sexually assaulted her when she was a psychology student at Syracuse University in January 1991 and filmed the attack.

But rejecting the claims as “made up and not credible”, a spokesperson for the star branded them “purely a money grab and nothing more”.

Another of Combs’ accusers is a woman who claims he “gang raped” her two decades ago after she was plied with drugs and alcohol when she was 17 years old.

Combs has denied all the allegations.

In a statement in December, he described the claims as “sickening” and said his accusers were “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,” he said.

Combs is among the most influential hip-hop producers and executives of the past three decades.

Also known as Puff Daddy and P Diddy, he built one of hip-hop’s biggest empires, blazing a trail with several entities attached to his name.

He is the founder of Bad Boy Records and a three-time Grammy winner who has worked with several top-tier artists including Notorious BIG, Mary J Blige, Usher, Lil Kim, Faith Evans and 112.

His latest album, The Love Album – Off the Grid, was released last year days after Combs was honoured at the MTV VMAs. It was nominated for best progressive R&B album at February’s Grammy Awards, which he did not attend.

SOURCE: Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News   (go to source)
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