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Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs files defence against rape allegation

<span>Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs pictured in June 2022.</span><span>Photograph: Paras Griffin/Getty Images</span>
Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs pictured in June 2022.Photograph: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Sean Combs, the rapper and mogul known as Diddy, has filed a defence against allegations that he and two others sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl at a recording studio in 2003.

New paperwork filed on Tuesday, reported by Rolling Stone, wholly denied the allegations from the unnamed plaintiff, who is suing Combs, and called for the lawsuit to be dismissed. The documents state that Combs “never participated in, witnessed, or was or is presently aware of any misconduct, sexual or otherwise, relating to plaintiff in any circumstance whatsoever”. Combs has previously denied a range of sexual assault allegations against him, saying on X: “I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth.”

Co-defendant Harve Pierre, president of Combs’ label Bad Boy Records, filed his own response to the lawsuit, claiming he “never participated in the sexual assault of the plaintiff nor did he ever witness anyone else sexually assaulting the plaintiff”.

The woman alleges that Pierre forced her to perform oral sex, before he and Combs plied her with drugs and alcohol to the point where she could not give consent. She alleges that after reaching the New York studio, Combs raped her in a bathroom, followed by a third unidentified man.

The new documents from Combs also contest a photo that allegedly shows the unnamed plaintiff sitting on Combs’ lap, disputing “context, genuineness, and/or accuracy of the photographs”, and complain about the two decade gap between the alleged incident and the allegations: “Some or all evidence that otherwise would have been available if the action had been promptly commenced may be unavailable, lost, or compromised.” The case against Combs is being brought under the Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law, which allows cases of this nature to be filed outside the usual statute of limitations. The new documents argue that using this New York state legislation violates Combs’ constitutional rights.

This was the fourth set of allegations filed against Combs in late 2023. One case, from ex-girlfriend and singer Casandra Ventura (AKA Cassie) was settled the day after it was filed.

Two others were filed under the Adult Survivors Act, another piece of legislation that allowed cases to be filed outside the statute of limitations. One woman, Joi Dickerson-Neal, claimed that Combs drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1991, and shared a film of the assault in a “revenge porn” attack. Another unnamed woman alleged that Combs and singer Aaron Hall raped her and a friend in Hall’s apartment in 1990 or 1991. No settlement or judgement has yet been made in those cases.

Combs put out a statement following the fourth allegation, saying: “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.”