Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ Lawyer Says Raids of Rapper’s Homes Were ‘Excessive’ Use of Military Force

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ Lawyer Says Raids of Rapper’s Homes Were ‘Excessive’ Use of Military Force

Sean "Diddy" Combs arrives at the LA Premiere of "The Four: Battle For Stardom" at the CBS Radford Studio Center in Los Angeles on May 30, 2018. (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP Photo)

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

3/27/2024

Updated: 3/27/2024

LOS ANGELES—Sean “Diddy” Combs’ lawyer said Tuesday that the searches of the rapper’s Los Angeles and Miami properties by federal authorities in a sex trafficking investigation were “a gross use of military-level force” and that Combs is “innocent and will continue to fight” to clear his name.
It’s the first public statement from the music mogul’s team since Monday’s raids of his homes by Homeland Security Investigations agents.
“Yesterday, there was a gross overuse of military-level force as search warrants were executed at Mr. Combs’ residences,” said the statement from attorney Aaron Dyer. “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 not detained and spoke to authorities, and neither he nor any family members were arrested, nor has their travel been restricted, according to Mr. Dyer’s statement.
Mr. Dyer said the “unprecedented ambush” has led 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,” Dyer said. “Mr. Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name.”
Mr. Combs’ sons, Justin and Christian “King” Combs, were handcuffed during the raid at their father’s residence in Los Angeles. King, 25, is a music artist whose song “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” with Kodak Black topped Billboard’s Mainstream R&B Hip-Hop charts in 2022.
Law enforcement conducted the raid Monday at Mr. Combs’ multimillion-dollar mansion in the affluent Holmby Hills neighborhood in Los Angeles and his Miami waterfront home. Along with a heavy presence of officers, command trucks were parked outside both properties.
The criminal investigation is a major escalation in the scrutiny of Mr. Combs, who has been the defendant in several sexual abuse lawsuits in recent months.
In a lawsuit Mr. Combs settled the day after it was filed in November, his former protege and girlfriend, the R&B singer Cassie, sued him alleging years of sexual abuse, including rape.
In February, a music producer filed a lawsuit alleging Mr. Combs coerced him to solicit prostitutes and pressured him to have sex with them.
Another of Mr. Combs’ accusers was a woman who said the rap producer raped her two decades ago when she was 17.
Mr. Combs and his attorneys have denied all of the lawsuits’ allegations.
The AP does not typically name people who say they have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly as Cassie did.
Mr. Combs is among the most influential hip-hop producers and executives of the past three decades. Formerly known as Puff Daddy, he built one of hip-hop’s biggest empires, blazing a trail with several entities attached to his famous name. He is the founder of Bad Boy Records and a three-time Grammy winner who has worked with a slew of top-tier artists including Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lil Kim, Faith Evans, and 112.
Mr. Combs’ network of non-music business ventures, including lucrative private-label spirits, sportswear fashion, and a TV network, has been falling apart since the abuse lawsuits began surfacing.
His vodka and tequila deal with Diageo, a major producer of distilled spirits, formally disintegrated in January when the two parties settled mutual lawsuits, leaving the brands in Diageo’s hands.
His fashion line, Sean John, has disappeared from Macy’s, one of the line’s primary partners; Sean John’s items remain for sale at Walmart’s online store, although many items are heavily marked down or available only in off-sizes.
And last November, Mr. Combs resigned as chairman of Revolt TV, which focuses on music and social justice issues for African Americans.
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