If allegations are true, Diddy’s case shows the pattern of another abusive powerful man | Opinion

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No criminal charges have been filed against rap mogul Sean Combs, even though one of his two mansions on Star Island — and one in Los Angeles — were raided by Homeland Security agents on Monday. That’s a disturbing development.

The question: Is Combs another South Florida-grown Jeffrey Epstein? The federal investigation into sex trafficking, as the Herald reported, will soon reveal crimes committed, if any.

A civil lawsuit filed one month before the raid alleges Combs, better known as Diddy, his staff and executives engaged in “serious illegal activity,” including using drugs, possessing illegal firearms and providing laced alcoholic beverages to drug sex workers and minors, all for Comb’s pleasure.

If these allegations are true, Combs deserves to be compared to and treated like the late Epstein, Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and singer R. Kelly — all once powerful millionaires who used their influence to take advantage of women.

Like those men, Combs cultivated an image of luxury and excess that might have been used to lure women into dangerous situations or exploitation. There were frequent parties at Combs’ Star Island home at all hours with a revolving door of strangers, a neighbor told the Herald.

Who was there willingly and who was not? Those details are shrouded in a cloud of privilege and iron gates.

The lawsuit, filed by producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, says Combs was running a “widespread and dangerous criminal sex trafficking organization” — out of our backyard. He adds that Combs also groped him and forced him to engage in sexual acts. Combs settled another suit filed by singer Cassie in November that accused him of raping her.

Jones said in the lawsuit that Combs, his staff and music executives knew about — and were involved in — illicit and unwanted sexual activities in Florida, New York, California and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” the Miami Herald reported.

In a nutshell, Combs is accused of preying on vulnerable women, and also men, and trafficking them with the help of a private jet and a Caribbean island property. Some of those involved were identified as sex workers recruited at Miami strip clubs, at Combs’ urging, Jones alleges.

This is reminiscent of the types of behavior Epstein engaged in. He also had a private jet and a Caribbean property. No one should be able to wield the type of unrestrained influence that allows for human trafficking and abuse.

A source told Miami Herald reporters that Combs flew on his private jet to Antigua after speaking to federal agents at Opa-Locka Airport on Monday. He has not commented. In December, following four civil lawsuits filed by women alleging he promised to launch their singing careers, then sexually abused them, trafficked them and forced them to have sex with other people, he stated on Instagram: “Enough is enough. Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged...”

Through the civil lawsuits, there are indications that Combs cultivated an environment where his victims feared speaking out. If the allegations are true, then Combs used his position of power over aspiring female artists, models and assistants in a manner comparable to Weinstein’s serial abuse of women hoping to advance their careers in Hollywood.

The federal investigation into Combs has only just begun — and it could fizzle out. He should be investigated. No one, no matter how wealthy or famous, should be above accountability when it comes to such monstrous crimes.

The entertainment industry, and society at large, cannot afford to keep giving passes to powerful men who use their status to abuse others systematically.

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