What Is Going On With Diddy? Here’s What We Know.

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On Monday, headlines blared the news that two homes belonging to hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs were being raided by law enforcement. This development arrived a few months after a bombshell lawsuit, accusing Combs of sexual assault, was filed by his former girlfriend—a seemingly dam-breaking moment that led to a number of other women, and a man Combs recently worked with, filing similar suits of their own. (Combs has denied all wrongdoing.) Since Monday, various incongruous reports surrounding the reasons for the raids, Combs’ whereabouts, and information on other involved players have been released, making it hard to parse what we actually know. Below is a recap of what is going on with the creator of Bad Boy Entertainment and a breakdown of everything that has happened over the past several days.

What exactly are the allegations against Diddy? It seems as if they’ve kept piling up.

While the full and lengthy story of the numerous allegations against Diddy is still unfolding, it’s worth noting that the majority of the suits against Diddy were launched last year, after his former girlfriend, the singer Cassie, sued Combs in federal court on Nov. 16 on various claims of sexual assault and intimidation. Though that suit was settled out of court the following day—yes, you read that correctly—three more suits were subsequently filed by women who similarly accused Combs of various sex crimes, including rape and sex trafficking. The first three suits (including Cassie’s) were filed in rapid succession due to the impending Nov. 24 deadline for New York’s Adult Survivors Act, legislation that, for one year, extended to 20 years the statute of limitations for adult victims to pursue legal action against their alleged abusers. On Dec. 6, the fourth lawsuit, from a Jane Doe, was filed under a similar yet different New York City piece of legislation, the Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Act.

Following the fourth filing, Combs released a statement via his Instagram denouncing all of the claims:

For the last couple of weeks, I have sat silently and watched people try to assassinate my character, destroy my reputation and my legacy. Sickening allegations have been made against me by individuals looking for a quick payday. Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family, and for the truth.

However, this was not the end of the hip-hop artist’s mounting legal trouble. A month ago, on Feb. 26, the producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones Jr., alleged, in a 73-page legal filing with photographs and graphic details, that, among other nonsexual offenses, Combs had drugged, threatened, and sexually harassed him while they were working on Combs’ 2023 album The Love Album: Off the Grid. In a statement made to the Times, Combs’ lawyer Shawn Holley stated, “Lil Rod is nothing more than a liar,” calling the producer’s allegations “pure fiction” and claiming that he and Combs have “overwhelming, indisputable proof” that Jones’ assertions are fabricated. However, this did not stop Jones: He amended his federal complaint Monday to also accuse actor Cuba Gooding Jr. of sexual assault and harassment while on Combs’ yacht.

Cuba Gooding Jr. is wrapped up in this too?

Allegedly, according to this lawsuit. Gooding has also been embroiled in legal action for alleged sexual misconduct for the past couple of years, including a settlement in June on a rape allegation involving a 2013 incident, as well as a current lawsuit filed by two women. Gooding previously pleaded guilty to some of the allegations of these two women but did no jail time.

That was a lot. Now that I know the overview of the allegations, can you please explain to me what the hell is currently going on?

On Monday, federal agents from Homeland Security, alongside local law enforcement, conducted a raid of Combs’ Miami and Los Angeles homes as part of a sex trafficking investigation.

Wait—Homeland Security?! I thought that department mostly handled terrorism? 

DHS, which does (with varying degrees of controversiality) concern itself mainly with issues such as terrorism, immigration, disaster prevention, and cybersecurity, is also responsible for combating human trafficking, with the Center for Countering Human Trafficking falling under the department’s purview. This isn’t too surprising, considering that many human trafficking cases involve plenty of the department’s interests, from border security to counterterrorism. Similarly, Homeland Security was involved in the investigation against R&B singer R. Kelly that led to his 2022 conviction. NewsNation is even reporting that the federal case against Combs is directly modeled after the R. Kelly case, though I have yet to see that corroborated in print.

That makes sense. So, what happened during these raids?

There is video from countless outlets of the raids on both Combs’ L.A. and Miami homes—the former of which is registered to “Bad Boy Films” as well as one of Combs’ daughters. Meanwhile, TMZ purports to have internal photos showing the aftermath of the L.A. raid. In the footage of the L.A. raid, two of Combs’ adult sons, King and Justin Combs, are shown being detained outside the house, though ABC News reported that this was standard procedure, and the sons were released without charges. It is unclear whether his other children, some of whom are minors, were present or detained. Most notably, someone who cannot be seen in the footage is Combs himself, as his whereabouts at the time were unknown.

What do you mean, his whereabouts were unknown?

Because Combs was not present during the raids, and because he could not be located specifically, and because there were some seemingly conflicting reports about where his private jet was and whether he was even on it, myriad versions of “Where Is Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs?” headlines were splayed across the internet as the public, in a matter of hours, became obsessed with the rapper’s whereabouts.

Tabloids that were tracking Combs’ private jet reported that the plane landed on the Caribbean island of Antigua, though it was initially unclear whether Combs was on it. Because of this, the rumor mill began churning out a narrative in which Combs would have tried to escape to the island, but no less a source than the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda nipped the rumor in the bud by telling Newsweek what other reports also started to state: He was not on the jet. (This narrative was never entirely squared away anyway, considering that Antigua does have an extradition treaty with the U.S.) However, it didn’t help the rumor mill that Combs’ children were in one place and his private jet in another, while he was apparently in neither of those locations.

As of right now, Combs’ private jet is no longer available to track on the site FlightAware, though it is not uncommon for celebrities to request that the tracking info of their jets be withheld from these public flight databases.

Do we know where he is now? 

While news of the raids was being released and the Antigua speculation was unfolding, Combs was spotted by TMZ milling around the Miami–Opa Locka Executive Airport. The New York Post reported that Combs was allegedly about to board a different private jet from Miami. (Remember: His usual all-black LoveAir jet was on its way to Antigua.)

Per USA Today, a man named Brendan Paul, whom Jones alleges to be Combs’ drug “mule,” was arrested by law enforcement at Opa Locka Executive Airport on felony charges for “possession of suspected cocaine and possession of suspected marijuana candy.” According to Jones’ lawsuit, the former Syracuse University basketball player “procured, transported, and distributed ecstasy, cocaine, GHB, ketamine, marijuana, mushrooms, and tuci.” Paul has since been released on a $2,500 bond.

TMZ has footage of Combs walking around the airport and speaking to law enforcement, but the timeline is murky. Some of the tabloid’s reports claim that Combs was with his family when he was approached by Homeland Security and questioned. Some of the tabloid’s reports allege that the photographed exchange with law enforcement occurred “moments before” Paul was arrested. According to Page Six, on the day of the raids Combs had been planning to travel with his twin daughters to the Bahamas. None of the following have been verified: Combs’ intentions for being at the airport, the timeline of Paul’s arrest, whether Paul’s arrest even had anything to do with the raids, or who exactly was with Combs when he was stopped at the airport. However, reports (subsequently supported by an official statement from Combs’ attorney) state that the mogul was not arrested or charged after being stopped by law enforcement, nor was his travel restricted.

All of that took place on Monday? Goodness. Is there anything else I should know about the events of that day?

Well this isn’t entirely related, but I thought you might like to know that famed director Ridley Scott, apparently Combs’ neighbor, was caught by TMZ allegedly appearing “seriously frustrated” as the raid on the producer’s L.A. home reportedly prevented the Blade Runner director from accessing his own lodging.

Thank you for trying to explain what happened. However, I’m still confused about one big thing. If the events happened so long ago, what evidence could even still be present that would warrant a raid?

We don’t know exactly what prompted the searches, though NBC News reports that multiple people so far have spoken to federal officials about “allegations of sex trafficking, sexual assault, and the solicitation and distribution of illegal narcotics and firearms.” However, it’s important to note that although we know that the raids are related to a sex-trafficking investigation, we do not know if Combs is a lead suspect in said investigation. Even still, I must remind you that though the majority of the high-profile allegations against Combs concern events that took place years ago, most of what Jones alleges in his 73-page suit occurred as recently as 2023.

After all of this, did the federal agents find anything in Combs’ homes?

NBC News reported that some firearms were found during the searches, though it is unclear who owns them. Some electronic devices were also seized. We do not know if anything else has been found.

Did Diddy have anything to say about this whole ordeal?

One of Combs’ lawyers, Aaron Dyer, released a statement, seen by Fox News, in which he described the raids as a “gross overuse of military-level force.” He also corroborates the reports that neither Combs nor any of his family members have been arrested, nor was their travel restricted, adding, “There is no excuse for the excessive show of force and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way his children and employees were treated.” Dyer likens this “unprecedented ambush” to a “witch hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits.” Finally, he asserts that “Mr. Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name.”

Were there any other noteworthy reactions to the news?

Jones’ attorney told NBC News that, though they “appreciate” the raids, “today’s events are not going to prevent nor delay” Jones’ legal proceedings in demanding “justice and resolution from the Combs RICO Enterprise.” Meanwhile, the lawyer who represents both Cassie and the Jane Doe issued a statement to Good Morning America saying that they “will always support” law enforcement in their efforts to prosecute wrongdoers and that they are hopeful “this is the beginning of a process that will hold Mr. Combs responsible for his depraved conduct.”

We’ll have to wait and see if there are any further developments, though the one thing that seems clear is that we haven’t heard the last of this.