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In new lawsuit, model is latest to accuse Sean Combs of sexual assault

A sixth lawsuit against the rap mogul alleges that he drugged a model before assaulting her.
Scott Dudelson
Getty Images
A sixth lawsuit against the rap mogul alleges that he drugged a model before assaulting her.

The hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs is being accused of another sexual assault in a growing list of assault cases. In a federal lawsuit filed in New York on Tuesday, model Crystal McKinney claims that Combs coerced and sexually abused her in 2003.

McKinney alleges in the suit that, when she was 22 years old, Combs invited her to a recording studio after a Men's Fashion Week event where he then pressured her into taking drugs and drinking alcohol and proceeded to force her to perform oral sex. According to the suit, McKinney claims she was unknowingly given marijuana laced with "a narcotic or other intoxicating substance" and that in her disoriented state Combs physically took the inebriated McKinney into the bathroom and forced himself on her. Afterward, McKinney says she lost consciousness and woke up in a cab. The suit alleges that Combs subsequently used his influence to have McKinney blackballed in the industry.

This is the sixth civil lawsuit filed against Combs since last November, all of which accuse him of similar crimes of assault. This suit comes just days after video surveillance footage leaked of Combs attacking his former girlfriend, Cassie Ventura, in a hotel hallway, aligning with a 2016 incident depicted in the filing that took place at the now-closed InterContinental Hotel in Century City in Los Angeles. McKinney says in her complaint the filings by Ventura and others made her feel a "moral obligation" to come forward. Combs' Bad Boy Entertainment label, its parent company Universal Music Group and his Sean John clothing company are also named in the suit.

In March, teams of federal agents conducted coordinated raids at two homes associated with Combs. One of his attorneys called the action "a premature rush to judgment of Mr. Combs and is nothing more than a witch hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits." In the aftermath of the surveillance footage showing Combs assaulting Ventura, the record executive posted an apology video on his Instagram (May 19): "My behavior on that video is inexcusable," he says to the camera. "I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. ... I was disgusted then when I did it. I'm disgusted now."

In a statement the same day, Ventura's attorneys rebuffed the apology. "Combs' most recent statement is more about himself than the many people he has hurt," it read. "When Cassie and multiple other women came forward, he denied everything and suggested that his victims were looking for a payday. That he was only compelled to 'apologize' once his repeated denials were proven false shows his pathetic desperation, and no one will be swayed by his disingenuous words." The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office revealed in its own statement that no case related to the attack had been presented to law enforcement, and that if the attack in the video had occurred in 2016 as reported, charges could not be filed due to the statute of limitations.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Sidney Madden is a reporter and editor for NPR Music. As someone who always gravitated towards the artforms of music, prose and dance to communicate, Madden entered the world of music journalism as a means to authentically marry her passions and platform marginalized voices who do the same.
Sheldon Pearce
[Copyright 2024 NPR]