Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs homes searched amid allegations of sexual assault and illegal activity

HSI confirmed in a statement that it “executed law enforcement actions” in New York as part of an ongoing investigation, along with teams in Los Angeles and Miami.

Homeland Security officials seized phones from Combs in Miami before he was scheduled to depart for a trip to the Bahamas, according to three law enforcement sources familiar with the warrant. Combs was in the Miami area when authorities executed the searches, sources said. It is not clear if Combs made the trip as planned.

Representatives for Combs, 54, did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment Monday.

Sean "Diddy" Combs
Sean “Diddy” Combs at the Billboard Music Awards on May 15, 2022, in Las Vegas.Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP file

Series of allegations, lawsuits

News of a federal investigation comes after public scrutiny of Combs’ behavior after his former romantic partner, Cassie, accused him of physically and sexually abusing her for years. She made the allegations in a lawsuit filed late last year in New York under the New York Adult Survivors Act, which offered a one-year window for adult victims of sexual assault to come forward with civil claims regardless of the statute of limitations. 

Cassie, whose full name is Casandra Ventura, settled with Combs on Nov. 17, the day after the suit was filed on terms that have not been disclosed. 

Since then, three other women have come forward with lawsuits in the Southern District of New York alleging that they were sexually assaulted by Combs. Two of the women said they were teenagers at the time of the alleged assaults. 

Douglas Wigdor, who represents Ventura and a Jane Doe who filed suit, said in a statement that the searches and investigation were hopefully the beginning of a process that “will hold Mr. Combs responsible for his depraved conduct.” 

“We will always support law enforcement when it seeks to prosecute those that have violated the law,” Wigdor said.  

An attorney for Joi Dickerson-Neal, one of Combs’ accusers, declined to comment to NBC News.

Combs has denied each of the sexual assault allegations, calling them “sickening.” 

A producer who worked for Combs between September 2022 and November 2023 filed a lawsuit in February alleging that Combs sexually harassed, drugged and threatened him for more than a year. The former employee, Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, also alleged that he had video and audio evidence of Combs, his staff and others “engaging in serious illegal activity.”

Jones’ attorney, Tyrone Blackburn, also represents Combs’ accuser Liza Gardner. Blackburn said Monday that the federal investigation will not “prevent nor delay my clients’ pending and forthcoming actions for justice and resolution from the Combs RICO Enterprise.”

Shawn Holley, an attorney for Combs, previously denied Jones’ allegations and said that Combs’ team has “overwhelming, indisputable proof that his claims are complete lies.” 

One person who said he frequents the Los Angeles neighborhood where a search happened expressed shock.

Ryan Mendelsohn, 20, who used to live in the area and still regularly visits a nearby friend, told reporters he would see parties at the home and women outside. Other homes had parties, too, but that home had people there and women outside until 6 a.m., which was not usual, he said.

“I drive by a lot, and I see that — a lot of girls, maybe five or six girls outside, some leaving, some not, some going in,” adding he also saw Black Chevy Suburban SUVs there.

“I never thought anything of it,” said Mendelsohn, who said he did not know Combs lived there until Monday’s news coverage. “But now, it’s crazy.”

Weapons charge

Combs has had a number of legal issues in the past, but has rarely faced criminal charges. 

In 1999, Combs pleaded guilty to assaulting a record executive and was ordered to one day of anger management. That same year, Combs was accused of criminal possession of a weapon after a shooting at a New York nightclub. 

Witnesses told law enforcement that they saw Combs with a firearm at the club and that rapper Shyne, real name Moses Barrow fired into the crowd. Combs was pulled over by police in a vehicle with then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez, and a gun was found in the car. Combs was acquitted of weapons and bribery charges, and Shyne was found guilty of the club shooting at trial. 

Since Ventura’s suit and others have come forward accusing Combs of assault, the music mogul has been the center of scrutiny. He stepped down from his position as chairman of media network Revolt and Hulu pulled back from a planned reality series centered on his family. 

Diana Dasrath and Andrew Blankstein reported from Los Angeles, and Doha Madani and Jonathan Dienst from New York.

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