Sean 'Diddy' Combs accused of partaking in gang-rape of teen in his studio
Hip-hop star Sean "Diddy" Combs was on Dec 6 accused in federal court of taking part in the gang-rape of a 17-year-old girl in his Manhattan recording studio in 2003, marking the fourth lawsuit leveling sexual assault allegations against him in recent weeks.
The 54-year-old rapper and founder of Bad Boy Records issued a statement on the same day, professing his innocence and declaring his accusers were "looking for a quick payday."
The plaintiff was a high school student at the time she met associates of Combs in a Detroit-area lounge 20 years ago. They flew her in a private jet from Michigan to the New York area, then drove her to the New York City studio where Combs and two other men plied her with drugs and alcohol.
According to the lawsuit, Combs and the other two men took turns to rape the plaintiff in a bathroom of the studio as she slipped in and out of consciousness. Combs also watched one of the other assaults after he was finished.
She was later flown back to Michigan but had little recollection of her return trip to the Detroit suburbs.
As evidence to support her allegations, the lawsuit includes photos allegedly depicting the accuser in Combs' studio, including one of her sitting on his lap.
The complaint, filed in US District Court in Manhattan, said the plaintiff has since suffered "extreme emotional distress that has impacted nearly every aspect of her life and personal relationships".
Combs' latest accuser said she chose to come forward after reading news accounts of the lawsuit brought against Combs last month by his ex-girlfriend Cassie Ventura, who performs under the stage name Cassie, accusing him of subjecting her to physical abuse, sex trafficking and rape over the course of a decade.
Ventura and Combs announced the next day they had settled the case under confidential terms. Combs' lawyer Ben Brafman said the settlement was "in no way an admission of wrongdoing" and that his client maintained his "flat-out denial" of Ventura's claims.
But Combs was hit with two more lawsuits in a matter of days – Joi Dickerson-Neal accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting her while she was a student at Syracuse University in 1991 and another accused him of forcing her and a friend into non-consensual sex in the early-1990s.
He has denied those allegations.
One of the two other men alleged to have raped the plaintiff in Wednesday's lawsuit was named in the complaint as Harve Pierre, a former top executive at Bad Boy. He was accused in a separate lawsuit last month of using his position of authority at Bad Boy to groom and sexually assault a former assistant. – REUTERS