Diddy Asks to Dismiss Lawsuit Alleging Rape of 17 Year Old

May 11, 2024 - Music

Sean “Diddy” Combs on Friday (May 10) asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that he and two co-defendants raped a 17-year-old girl in a New York recording studio in 2003, saying it was a “false and hideous claim” that was filed too late under the law.

The legal move is the latest piece of pushback from the 54-year-old hip-hop mogul and his legal team after he was subjected to several similar lawsuits and a subsequent criminal sex-trafficking investigation.

“Mr. Combs and his companies categorically deny Plaintiff’s decades-old tale against them, which has caused incalculable damage to their reputations and business standing before any evidence has been presented,” says the filing, which also names Combs-owned corporations as defendants. “Plaintiff cannot allege what day or time of year the alleged incident occurred, but miraculously remembers other salacious details, despite her alleged incapacitated condition.”

The lawsuit was filed in December and amended in March by the woman who now lives in Canada whose name wasn’t disclosed in the court filing. She said she was in 11th grade at a high school in a Detroit suburb in 2003, when Harve Pierre, then the president of Combs’ Bad Boy Entertainment record label, flew her to New York on a private jet and took her to a recording studio, where she was given drugs and alcohol until she was incapable of consenting to sex. Then, the lawsuit said, Pierre, Combs and a man she didn’t know took turns raping her.

The lawsuit included photographs of the woman sitting on Combs’ lap that she said were taken on the night in question.

The defense filing asks that the case be “dismissed now, with prejudice” — meaning it cannot be refiled — “to protect the Combs Defendants from further reputational injury and before more party and judicial resources are squandered.”

At this early stage in the lawsuit, the arguments are procedural rather than on the facts of the case.

Some of the lawsuits filed against Combs involve decades-old allegations and are among the more than 3,700 legal claims filed under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which temporarily suspended certain legal deadlines to give sexual assault victims a last opportunity to sue over abuse that happened years or even decades ago.

The new deadlines established by that law expired, but the suit Combs filed the motion against Friday was brought under a different law, New York City’s Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law. That city law also allows accusers to file civil complaints involving sexual assault claims after the statute of limitations has run out.

But Combs’ motion argues that suit was filed too late, because the city law is preempted by the state law, whose provisions mean the lawsuit needed to be filed by August of 2021 to be timely.

“New York state law trumps New York City law, without exception,” the filing says.

The amended version of the lawsuit filed in March sought to address some of these issues, but Combs’ attorneys argue that it didn’t go far enough. The judge has ruled the woman will need to reveal her name if the lawsuit moves forward after this challenge.

The Associated Press does not typically name people who say they have been sexually abused, unless they come forward publicly, as some of Combs’ accusers have done.

Friday’s defense filing also criticizes the suit for including “a bolded, legally irrelevant ‘trigger warning’ calculated to focus attention on its salacious and depraved allegations.”

The public airing of allegations against Combs began with a November lawsuit by the singer Cassie, his former protege and girlfriend, containing allegations of beatings, rape and other abuse between 2005 and 2018. The suit, filed by Douglas Wigdor, the same attorney who filed the suit being challenged Friday, was settled the day after it was filed. Combs denied the allegations through his lawyer before the settlement.

More lawsuits against Combs were filed in the following months. Then on March 25, Homeland Security Investigations served search warrants on his homes in Los Angeles and Miami in a sex-trafficking investigation. His lawyer called it “a gross use of military-level force.” The investigation is continuing. Combs has not been charged.

Last month, Combs filed a motion to dismiss a suit filed by Joi Dickerson, who said she was a 19-year-old college student when Combs drugged her and sexually assaulted her.

Wigdor did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new filing. He said in a statement in December that the “depravity of these abhorrent acts has, not surprisingly, scarred our client for life.”

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