Kuala Lumpur Post

World

Federal agents raid Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’s homes in LA, Miami

LOS ANGELES — US department of homeland security agents have opened an investigation of hip-hop star Sean “Diddy” Combs, searching properties connected to him in Los Angeles and Miami, an agency spokesman said on Monday.

The enquiry was being directed by homeland security investigations (HSI) agents in New York, where he was accused by a former girlfriend in a lawsuit filed in federal court in November of engaging in sex trafficking.

Los Angeles-based television stations carried aerial video footage showing HSI agents and other law enforcement authorities entering an LA mansion on Monday in what those news outlets reported was a raid on Combs’s Holmby Hills estate.

TV stations KNBC, KTTV, and others reported that federal authorities were also executing a search warrant at the rap mogul’s Miami home.

An HSI spokesman, responding to a Reuters query seeking comment on the reports, said, “Earlier today, homeland security investigations 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.”

The statement did not elaborate on the nature of the investigation.

R&B vocalist Cassandra Ventura sued Combs in federal court in Manhattan in mid-November, accusing the rapper and hip-hop executive she once dated and whose music label she signed with of subjecting her to serial physical abuse, sexual slavery, and rape.

The lawsuit also accused Combs of regularly beating Ventura over the course of a 10-year professional and romantic relationship in which he controlled her through intimidation and by plying her with drugs and alcohol.

The lawsuit cited violations of sex trafficking and human trafficking statutes under federal, New York, and California laws.

Combs, through his lawyer, flatly denied the allegations. The next day, Combs and Ventura jointly announced they had settled the case out of court. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Combs, 54, founder of the landmark label Bad Boy Records, is one of the most influential producers and executives in hip-hop and a hugely successful performer in his own right, as well as the impresario of his own Sean John clothing line.

The lawsuit by Ventura was one of at least four civil complaints brought in recent months levelling sexual assault allegations against Combs, who has formerly gone by monikers including P Diddy, Puff Daddy, and Diddy. — Reuters