Federal Agents Raid Sean Combs’s Residence in Los Angeles


Federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security on Monday raided a home in the Los Angeles area that a law-enforcement official said was connected to Sean Combs, the hip-hop mogul who has been accused of sexual assault and sex trafficking in multiple civil lawsuits over the last several months.

In a statement on Monday, in response to questions about news reports of a raid on Mr. Combs’s residence, Homeland Security Investigations said: “Earlier today, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York executed law enforcement actions as part of an ongoing investigation, with assistance from HSI Los Angeles, HSI Miami and our local law enforcement partners. We will provide further information as it becomes available.”

The department did not say who was the target of the investigation. Video from Fox 11 (KTTV), a local television news station in Los Angeles, showed officers entering a home in the Holmby Hills area of the city which the station said was connected to Mr. Combs’s company, Bad Boy Entertainment.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan declined to comment.

Combs, 54, known as Puff Daddy and Diddy, played an integral role in the transformation of hip-hop into a global commercial force, yet has been dogged for decades by accusations of violence. In November, he was sued for sexual assault by Casandra Ventura, his former girlfriend, who was also signed to his label, Bad Boy, as the performing artist Cassie.

In her suit, Ms. Ventura accused Mr. Combs of forcing her to engage in sexual activity with male prostitutes over a period of years. The suit said that as a result of those encounters, which took place in a number of cities across the United States, Ms. Ventura was a victim of sex trafficking.

Ms. Ventura’s civil suit was settled in just one day, with her and Mr. Combs saying their dispute had been resolved “amicably.”

But her suit was followed by several more cases, each accusing Mr. Combs of sexual assault. In one case filed last month, a music producer, Rodney Jones, said that Mr. Combs had made unwanted sexual contact with him, and forced him to hire prostitutes and participate in sex acts with them.

Mr. Combs has denied the accusations against him. In December, after an anonymous woman filed a suit accusing Mr. Combs and two other men of raping her in a New York recording studio in 2003, when she was 17, the music mogul 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.”

After Mr. Jones’s suit last month, Shawn Holley, a lawyer for Mr. Combs, said Mr. Jones is “nothing more than a liar who filed a $30 million lawsuit shamelessly looking for an undeserved payday,” and called his accusations “pure fiction.”

In a statement on Monday, Douglas Wigdor, a lawyer who represents Ms. Ventura and the anonymous woman who sued Mr. Combs alleging the assault at a New York studio, said: “We will always support law enforcement when it seeks to prosecute those that have violated the law. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a process that will hold Mr. Combs responsible for his depraved conduct.”

Hamed Aleaziz contributed reporting from Washington, D.C.



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