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Where is Diddy? Sean Combs remains in U.S. amid widening sex trafficking probe, sources say

Sean "Diddy" Combs in big sunglasses and a black letterman jacket
Sean “Diddy” Combs’ homes in Los Angeles and Miami were searched by federal agents as part of an investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York.
(Willy Sanjuan / Invision/Associated Press)
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Two days after federal authorities searched his homes in a probe of sex trafficking, Sean “Diddy” Combs remains in the United States and vows to fight the allegations, sources close to the music legend said.

His 17,000-square-foot Holmby Hills mansion, where Combs debuted his last album a year ago, was flooded with Homeland Security Department agents who gathered evidence on behalf of an investigation being run by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the inquiry. His Miami home was also searched.

Sources with knowledge of the situation said Combs was scheduled on Monday to depart by plane for a spring break vacation with his school-age daughters but opted to delay the trip after learning of the search. He still has his passport, they added. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

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Legal experts say it could take time to build a criminal case against the hip-hop mogul but note that civil lawsuits against him could offer investigators a road map.

March 26, 2024

Homeland Security agents did not detain Combs at an executive airport in Miami, but they did stop a plane on the ground, they said.

Miami-Dade police officers who accompanied them arrested Brendan Paul, a man in Combs’ entourage, after cocaine and marijuana-laced candy was allegedly found in his bag.

Paul, 25, was recently described in a lawsuit against Combs as his “mule” for narcotics and firearms.

Authorities have declined to comment on the case, and Combs has not been charged with any crime.

Law enforcement sources with knowledge of the sex-trafficking investigation said federal authorities have interviewed at least three women but declined to provide any details.

Legal experts said investigators would likely seek authorization to ‘search for videos or photographs on any devices connected to the target.’

March 28, 2024

Combs’ former girlfriend, Casandra Ventura, the singer known as Cassie, accused him in a lawsuit of rape and repeated physical assaults and said he forced her to have sex with male prostitutes as he watched. Joi Dickerson-Neal accused Combs in a suit of drugging and raping her in 1991, recording the attack and then distributing the footage without her consent.

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Another woman, Liza Gardner, filed a third suit in which she claimed Combs and R&B singer Aaron Hall sexually assaulted her. Hall could not be reached for comment.

In the wake of multiple lawsuits filed against him, former members of Combs’ inner circle told The Times that his alleged misconduct against women goes back decades.

Dec. 13, 2023

Another lawsuit alleges that Combs and former Bad Boy label President Harve Pierre gang-raped and sex-trafficked a 17-year-old girl. Pierre said in a statement that the allegations were “disgusting,” “false” and a “desperate attempt for financial gain.”

Aaron Dyer, one of Combs’ lawyers, on Tuesday called the raids a “witch hunt” and criticized how they were conducted.

“Yesterday, there was a gross overuse of military-level force as search warrants were executed at Mr. Combs’ residences,” Dyer said in a statement. “This unprecedented ambush — paired with an advanced, coordinated media presence — leads 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.”

The sources said that it appeared investigators searching Combs’ L.A. home emptied safes, dismantled electronics and left papers strewn in some rooms.

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