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A timeline of allegations against Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs

Sean "Diddy" Combs in big sunglasses and a black letterman jacket
Hip-hop mogul and entrepreneur Diddy has been accused of physical and sexual violence dating back to 1990. He denies the allegations.
(Willy Sanjuan / Invision / AP)
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A string of recent sexual assault allegations against Sean “Diddy” Combs, the billionaire music mogul and entrepreneur, have damaged the legacy of the man once revered as hip-hop royalty.

Four women, including Combs’ longtime girlfriend Casandra “Cassie” Ventura, filed explosive lawsuits against Combs in November and December, accusing the artist of sexually and physically abusing them. In February, producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones filed a similar suit, alleging Combs’ sexually assaulted and harassed him and that several people in his circle engaged in illicit behavior.

On Monday evening, federal agents from Homeland Security raided Combs’ Los Angeles and Miami homes as part of a sweeping sex trafficking inquiry.

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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

Combs has denied all the recent allegations and his lawyer, Aaron Dyer, slammed the execution of the Homeland Security investigation as an “excessive show of force” in a statement to The Times.

“Yesterday, there was a gross overuse of military-level force as search warrants were executed at Mr. Combs’ residences,” Dyer said. “There is no excuse for the excessive show of force and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way his children and employees were treated. Mr. Combs was never detained but spoke to and cooperated with authorities.”

“Despite media speculation, neither Mr. Combs nor any of his family members have been arrested nor has their ability to travel been restricted in any way,” Dyer’s statement added. “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. Mr. Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name.”

Combs — a hip-hop artist, producer and record label executive who built fashion and liquor empires — is facing a dramatic downfall in light of allegations of violence and abuse. Here is a timeline of the allegations against Combs.

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

1990: In a November 2023 lawsuit, Liza Gardner alleged Combs and R&B singer Aaron Hall sexually assaulted her and her friend in 1990.

1991: In another November 2023 lawsuit, Joi Dickerson-Neal alleged that Combs drugged and sexually assaulted her when she was 19. Combs also allegedly recorded and shared a video of the assault.

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1993: Combs founded Bad Boy Records and began discovering and developing hip-hop artists and producing work for musicians including the Notorious B.I.G.

April 1999: Combs was arrested on suspicion of assaulting Interscope Records executive Steve Stoute and pleaded guilty to harassment.

December 1999: Combs was charged with criminal possession of a weapon after police found a gun in his car following a shooting at a club in New York City. He and then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez were both arrested.

2003: According to a December 2023 lawsuit, Combs, former Bad Boy president Harve Pierre and a third unidentified person allegedly drugged and gang-raped a then-17-year-old girl, only identified in the complaint as Jane Doe. The alleged assault took place at a New York City recording studio after Pierre and the unidentified man flew in with the victim from Detroit.

2005: Combs, then in his mid-30s, met 19-year-old Ventura and expressed interest in signing her to Bad Boy Records.

2006: Ventura signed a 10-album deal with Combs’ label, and alleged in a November 2023 lawsuit that he used this time to “set the groundwork for his manipulative and coercive romantic and sexual relationship” with Ventura.

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Agents search Sean Combs’ Holmby Hills and Miami mansions as part of a federal inquiry into sex trafficking allegations, law enforcement sources said.

March 26, 2024

October 2007: Combs signed a multiyear deal with Diageo, a British beverage company, to develop Ciroc vodka for a 50/50 share in profits.

2007: Combs and Ventura were romantically linked for the first time. In a November 2023 lawsuit, Ventura alleged that Combs took advantage of his position as the head of her record label and convinced her to take illegal drugs before having sex with her for the first time.

She also alleged that over their nearly decade-long relationship, Combs physically and sexually abused her, often with witnesses present. The complaint detailed one incident in which Combs allegedly beat Ventura and repeatedly kicked and stomped her face, only stopping when she vomited. Ventura said in the suit that Combs’ “tremendously loyal network” who witnessed her repeated assaults “were not willing to do anything meaningful” to stop the violence.

2012: At a point when Combs and Ventura were broken up, Ventura briefly dated musician Kid Cudi. According to the November 2023 lawsuit, Combs told Ventura that he was going to blow up Kid Cudi’s car and that “he wanted to ensure that Kid Cudi was home with his friends when it happened.” Around this time, the lawsuit says, the musician’s car exploded in his driveway. A representative for Kid Cudi confirmed the explosion to the New York Times.

2013: Combs launched media company Revolt as a co-founder.

2014: Combs expanded his deal with Diageo to acquire high-end tequila brand DeLeon.

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June 2015: Combs was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon at a UCLA athletic complex following an altercation with a coach during which police said Combs used a kettlebell. Combs’ son played football at UCLA at the time of the altercation.

August 2015: Ventura alleged in the November 2023 lawsuit that throughout her relationship with Combs, he forced her to perform sexual acts on male sex workers. He allegedly forced Ventura and the hired sex workers to take illegal drugs, as was the case in a 2015 meeting described in the complaint. Combs also allegedly recorded the encounters and threatened violence if Ventura refused to participate, the suit said.

2018: Ventura repeatedly tried to sever ties with Combs and met him for dinner in September 2018, per the November 2023 lawsuit. Combs allegedly forced himself into Ventura’s home after the dinner and raped her “while she repeatedly said ‘no’ and tried to push him away.” Following this alleged assault, Ventura took further steps to “completely separate” herself from Combs.

July 2022: Combs accepted a lifetime achievement award at the BET Awards.

Rodney ‘Lil Rod’ Jones has filed a bombshell lawsuit against Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs accusing the media mogul of sexually harassing and threatening him.

Feb. 27, 2024

2022-2023: Music producer Jones alleged that Combs sexually assaulted him over a yearlong period when Jones was living on Combs’ properties and working on the production of “The Love Album: Off the Grid.” Jones also alleged in the February lawsuit that Combs tried to groom him into engaging in sex with producer Steven Aaron Jordan, also known as Stevie J.

Other allegations from the explosive federal complaint, which was originally filed in February but amended Monday, include Jones’ claim that Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. sexually harassed and assaulted him and that Combs forced Jones to take illegal drugs and solicit sex workers, some of whom were allegedly underage.

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June 2023: Combs sued beverage company Diageo for allegedly treating the brands he co-owned, DeLeon tequila and Ciroc vodka, as inferior “Black brands” or “ethnic brands,” per the racial discrimination lawsuit his company filed. Diageo denied allegations of racism in previous statements to The Times.

Hip-hop mogul Diddy has reassigned publishing rights once held by his Bad Boy Entertainment brand to the artists who helped build the legendary record label.

Sept. 6, 2023

September 2023: Combs returned publishing rights to some of the artists and songwriters signed to Bad Boy Entertainment. The surprise move restored the publishing rights back to artists including Mase, 112, the Lox, the Notorious B.I.G. and his widow Faith Evans.

November 2023: Ventura filed a sex trafficking and sexual assault lawsuit against Combs alleging a years-long period of physical and sexual abuse. The complaint says Ventura hoped to “confront her abuser, and to hold him and those who enabled his abuse accountable for their actions.” Through his lawyers, Combs denied the allegations and settled the suit 24 hours after Ventura filed.

Following the news of Ventura’s filing, Dickerson-Neal and Gardner also filed lawsuits alleging Combs sexually abused them.

November 2023: Combs stepped down from his position as chairman at Revolt TV.

December 2023: A fourth lawsuit accusing Combs and former Bad Boy label president Pierre of gang-rape and sex trafficking was filed on behalf of a victim who was 17 years old at the time of the alleged assault. Pierre said in a statement the allegations were “disgusting,” “false” and a “desperate attempt for financial gain.”

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January 2024: Combs withdrew his racial discrimination lawsuit against Diageo. In a joint statement to The Times, Combs and Diegeo said the former partners had “no ongoing business relationship, either with respect to Ciroc vodka or DeLeon tequila, which Diageo now solely owns.”

A new suit from music producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones makes new, explosive claims about Combs’ alleged assaults and misconduct in granular detail, naming several prominent artists and music executives as well.

Feb. 28, 2024

February 2024: Jones became the fifth person to file a lawsuit against Combs alleging that he sexually assaulted them. Jones’ suit names several notable entertainment industry figures, including Combs’ son Justin Dior Combs, Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge, Stevie J, Yung Miami and others.

March 25, 2024: Homeland Security agents searched Combs’ L.A. and Miami mansions as part of a federal inquiry into sex trafficking allegations against him conducted by the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. The investigation is ongoing.

March 26, 2024: TMZ reported that Combs recently sold off all of his shares in Revolt TV, the company he co-founded in 2013, for an undisclosed amount.

April 4, 2024: Combs and his son Christian “King” Combs are named in a lawsuit that alleges Christian drugged and sexually assaulted a woman in December 2022 while aboard a boat chartered under his father’s name. The plaintiff, Grace O’Marcaigh, was working as a steward on the ship. Combs’ legal team called the allegations in the suit “just another lewd and meritless claim.”

April 29, 2024: Combs’ legal team filed a motion to dismiss portions of Dickerson-Neal’s November 2023 lawsuit that alleges he drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1991. The argument hinges on the fact that the relevant state laws regarding revenge porn and human trafficking did not exist at the time of the alleged incident.

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May 10, 2024: Combs’ lawyers continued to push back on the allegations against him in civil suits, filing another motion to dismiss the December 2023 suit that claims Diddy, Pierre and a third unidentified person assaulted a 17-year-old girl.

A video showing Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs violently attacking his then-girlfriend in an L.A. hotel in 2016 is likely to add more urgency to a sex-trafficking inquiry.

May 19, 2024

May 17, 2024: CNN released surveillance footage from 2016 that shows Combs violently attacking Ventura. In the video from the InterContinental Hotel in Century City, he can be seen chasing Ventura down a hallway, grabbing her head and throwing her on the ground, where he kicks her multiple times. He also throws a glass vase in her direction in another clip. The footage corroborates claims made in Ventura’s November 2023 lawsuit, which Combs and his team categorically denied.

May 19, 2024: Combs apologized via an Instagram post for his behavior in the 2016 security video and said he has sought mental health services since the incident.

“It’s so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you got to do that,” Combs said. “I was f— up — I hit rock bottom — but I make no excuses. My behavior on that video is inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my actions in that video.”

May 20, 2024: Ventura responded to Combs’ apology video via her lawyers. In a statement, her legal team said the apology shows Combs’ “pathetic desperation” and that his “disingenuous words” mean very little after he accused Ventura and the other women who brought allegations to light of seeking a payday.

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