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A closer look at the sexual misconduct lawsuits against Sean 'Diddy' Combs

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Even before law enforcement raided his homes, the rapper, producer and businessman Sean “Diddy” Combs faced a host of legal issues.

Since November, he has faced five separate civil lawsuits accusing him of a range of sexual misconduct and other illegal activity. One of those cases has already been settled, but the others remain active.

Several of the lawsuits allege misconduct was captured on video. In addition, some were filed under the New York Adult Survivors Act, which created a one-year window for adult victims to file a lawsuit against their alleged abusers and the institutions that enabled them, regardless of statutes of limitations. This one-year window ended November 24, 2023.

Authorities searched Diddy’s homes on Monday because he is a target of a federal investigation carried out by a Department of Homeland Security team that handles human trafficking crimes, according to a senior federal law enforcement official briefed on the investigation. The investigation stems from many of the same sexual assault allegations put forth in the civil lawsuits, according to a second law enforcement source familiar with Monday’s searches.

The music mogul’s attorney, Aaron Dyer, issued a statement Tuesday, calling the searches a “gross overuse of military-level force.”

“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,” he said. “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.”

Here’s a closer look at each of the lawsuits, what they allege and how Diddy has responded.

Ventura v. Combs

The basics: Casandra Ventura, the R&B singer known as Cassie who previously dated Diddy, filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on November 16, 2023, against Diddy and the companies Bad Boy Records, Bad Boy Entertainment, Combs Enterprises, Epic Records and Doe Corps. 1-10.

The allegations: Ventura alleged she was raped and subjected to years of violent abuse by Diddy. The lawsuit specifically accuses him of sex trafficking, human trafficking, sexual assault and battery, gender-motivated violence, sexual harassment, gender discrimination and a hostile work environment.

Diddy’s response: Attorney Ben Brafman said in a statement emailed to CNN via Diddy’s publicist, “Mr. Combs vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations.”

The statement continued, “For the past 6 months, Mr. Combs, has been subjected to Ms. Ventura’s persistent demand of US$30 million, under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail. Despite withdrawing her initial threat, Ms. Ventura has now resorted to filing a lawsuit riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aiming to tarnish Mr. Combs’ reputation and seeking a pay day.”

Where the case stands: The lawsuit was settled “amicably” just a day afterward, both sides said. “A decision to settle a lawsuit, especially in 2023, is in no way an admission of wrongdoing,” Brafman said.

Dickerson-Neal v. Combs

The basics: Joi Dickerson-Neal filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court on November 23 against Diddy, Bad Boy Entertainment doing business as Bad Boy Records, and Combs Enterprises LLC.

The allegations: Dickerson-Neal accused Diddy of drugging and sexually assaulting her in 1991, when she was a Syracuse University student who had appeared with Combs in a music video. She also alleged she was a victim of “revenge porn,” saying he filmed the assault and showed it to others.

Diddy’s response: A spokesperson said the allegations are “made up and not credible,” adding the move is “purely a money grab.”

“This last-minute lawsuit is an example of how a well-intentioned law can be turned on its head,” the spokesperson said. “Mr. Combs never assaulted her, and she implicates companies that did not exist.”

Where the case stands: Defendants’ response is due April 12.

Gardner v. Combs

The basics: In a lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court on November 23 and in an amended complaint on March 12, Liza Gardner sued Diddy, Aaron Hall, MCA Inc., MCA Music Entertainment Group, Geffen Records, Universal Music Group NV, John and Jane Does 1-10 and ABC Corps. 1-10.

The allegations: Gardner accused Combs and Aaron Hall, a member of the R&B group Guy, of battery and sexual assault in 1990, when she was 16 years old.

She alleged that after they gave her alcoholic drinks, Diddy forced her into having sex and Hall pinned her down and forced her to have sex. The next day, Diddy assaulted her and choked her until she passed out, the lawsuit states.

Diddy’s response: In December, Diddy posted on Instagram denying the claims.

“Enough is enough. For the last couple of weeks, I have sat silently and watched people try to assassinate my character, destroy my reputation and my legacy,” he said. “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.”

CNN has reached out to Hall for comment. He has not yet publicly spoken about the allegations.

Where the case stands: Defendants’ response to the complaint is not yet due.

Jane Doe v. Combs

The basics: An anonymous woman using the name Jane Doe filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on December 6 against Diddy, Harve Pierre, an unnamed third assailant, Daddy’s House Recordings Inc. and Bad Boy Entertainment Holdings Inc. Doe filed an amended complaint on March 29.

The allegations: Doe accused Diddy, Pierre and a third person of sex trafficking and gang rape in 2003, when she was a 17-year-old high school student.

Diddy’s response: In court filings, Diddy formally denied the allegations and told the court the lawsuit should be dismissed because the woman’s “decision to wait more than two decades to file her complaint has prejudiced” him because he has “lost the ability to defend himself fully and fairly.” He also argued the evidence may now be “unavailable, lost, or compromised” and that “witness identification, availability, and recollections are likely compromised due to the substantial passage of time.”

Pierre, the former president of Bad Boy Records, filed a 15-page response asking the court to dismiss the complaint. He said he “never participated in the sexual assault of the Plaintiff nor did he ever witness anyone else sexually assaulting the Plaintiff.”

Daddy’s House Recordings Inc. and Bad Boy Entertainment Holdings Inc. have also filed motions asking the court to dismiss the case.

Where the case stands: Defendants’ response to the amended complaint is not yet due.

Lil Rod v. Combs

The basics: Rodney Jones, a music producer and videographer who went by Lil Rod, filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on February 26 against Diddy and a number of other defendants. The suit was refiled on March 4, and proposed amended complaints were filed on March 25 and March 27.

The allegations: The lawsuit specifically accuses Diddy of racketeering, sexual assault and sex trafficking in 2022 and 2023 as Jones worked on Diddy’s most recent album “Love.” Jones also alleges Combs did not compensate him for his music producing work.

In addition, the lawsuit accuses Cuba Gooding Jr. of sexual assault and makes reference to several other celebrities by name and by description.

Diddy’s response: Diddy’s attorney denied the allegations and called Jones’ claims “lies.”

“His reckless name-dropping about events that are pure fiction and simply did not happen is nothing more than a transparent attempt to garner headlines. We have overwhelming, indisputable proof that his claims are complete lies,” attorney Shawn Holley said.

An attorney for Gooding has not responded to CNN’s request for comment.

Where the case stands: Some of the defendants have moved to dismiss the case, and the deadline to respond to the allegations has not yet arrived.

O’Marcaigh v. Christian and Sean Combs

The basics: Grace O’Marcaigh, who worked as a crew member and bartender on a yacht leased by Diddy and his family in December 2022, names Sean Combs and his son Christian Combs in a lawsuit filed April 4 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The allegations: Christian Combs is accused of sexual assault in the lawsuit. His father is accused of premises liability and aiding and abetting his son.

The lawsuit alleges the yacht experience was “sold as a wholesome family excursion” but turned into a “hedonistic environment” where suspected sex workers and other celebrities were often brought aboard.

In the early morning of December 28, Christian Combs pressured O’Marcaigh to drink a shot of tequila and shortly thereafter he assaulted her, the lawsuit says. O’Marcaigh believes the tequila, which she says Christian Combs brought aboard, may have been laced with drugs, according to the lawsuit.

On the yacht, Christian Combs “cornered” O’Marcaigh in a room and “became physical and extremely aggressive,” the lawsuit states. The alleged sexual assault stopped only when another yacht employee entered the room.

Diddy’s response: Aaron Dyer, an attorney for Combs and his son, said in a statement the lawsuit contains “manufactured lies and irrelevant facts.”

Where the case stands: Dyer said he will seek to “dismiss this outrageous claim.”

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