Authorities search Diddy’s properties as part of a sex trafficking probe

Associated Press | 3/28/2024, 6 p.m.
In the first nine months of 2023, Sean “Diddy” Combs triumphantly performed at the MTV VMAs, released an R&B album …
Law enforcement agents ride a vehicle Monday near a property belonging to Sean “Diddy” Combs on Star Island in Miami Beach, Fla. Two properties belonging to Mr. Combs in Los Angeles and Miami were searched Monday by federal Homeland Security Investigations agents and other law enforcement as part of an ongoing sex trafficking investigation by federal authorities in New York, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. Photo by Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - In the first nine months of 2023, Sean “Diddy” Combs triumphantly performed at the MTV VMAs, released an R&B album that garnered a Grammy nomination and was a suitor to buy the BET network.

But several lawsuits filed late last year raised allegations of sexual assault and rape against Mr. Combs — one of hip-hop’s most recognizable names as a performer and producer.

Mr. Combs

Mr. Combs

The music mogul’s homes in Los Angeles and Miami were searched Monday by federal agents with Homeland Security Investigators and other law enforcement. Officials said the searches were connected to an investigation by federal authorities in New York.

The officials spoke to The Associated Press on conditions of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss details of the investigation. Mr. Combs’ attorney and other representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, and his whereabouts are unknown.

Although Mr. Combs was embroiled in a high-profile business dispute for part of 2023, it was a case filed by his former girlfriend and R&B singer Cassie that opened the door to other claims of sexual violence. Mr. Combs has vehemently denied the allegations.

It is not clear whether the search is related to any of the allegations raised in the lawsuits, which include one from a woman who claims Mr. Combs raped her when she was 17.

Here are some things to know about Mr. Combs and the investigation.

Mr. Combs is among the most influential hip-hop producers and executives of the past three decades. He built one of music’s biggest empires, blazing a trail with several entities attached to his famous name. He is the founder of Bad Boy Records and a three-time Grammy winner who has worked with a slew of top-tier artists including Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lil Kim, Faith Evans and 112.

The music mogul created the fashion clothing line called Sean John, was associated with a well-known vodka brand and launched Revolt TV network, which focuses on music and social justice issues targeting African-Americans. He also produced the reality show “Making the Band” for MTV.

In 2022, BET honored Mr. Combs with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his ability to shape culture through his career.

Mr. Combs won Grammys for his platinum-selling 1997 album “No Way Out” and the single “I’ll Be Missing You,” a song dedicated to the late Notorious B.I.G. who was killed earlier that year. He won another Grammy for “Shake Ya Tailfeather” with Nelly and Murphy Lee.

Last year, Mr. Combs released his fifth studio album “The Love Album: Off the Grid,” which was nominated for best progressive R&B album at February’s Grammy Awards, which he did not attend. The album was his first solo project since his 2006 chart-topping “Press Play,” which had two top 10 hit singles: “Last Night” with Keyshia Cole and “Come to Me” featuring Nicole Scherzinger.