NEW YORK: A fourth woman has publicly accused music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs of sexual assault, alleging he and others gang-raped her when she was 17, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday.
The filing says Combs – an artist and producer also known as Puff Daddy – met the unnamed woman in 2003 after his associate Harve Pierre singled her out at a lounge in Detroit and convinced her to take a private jet to New York to meet the rapper.
Prior to taking the flight, Pierre forced the then 17-year-old to perform oral sex on him before taking her across state lines to Combs’ studio.
There, the group of men including Combs plied her with drugs and alcohol before violently raping her repeatedly, the civil suit filed in a federal court in New York alleges.
Her lawyer Douglas Wigdor – who also represented R&B singer Cassie, the first woman to publicly come forward against Combs – said that “the depravity of these abhorrent acts has, not surprisingly, scarred our client for life.”
It is the fourth lawsuit levelled against Combs alleging similar abuse and rape.
The first, from Cassie, was settled two days after it was filed under the New York Adult Survivors Act, a law that opened a one-year window for sexual assault claims to be filed that otherwise happened too long ago to litigate.
Combs has vehemently denied all accusations against him. His lawyer did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment on Wednesday’s filing.
Following Cassie’s lawsuit, plaintiff Joi Dickerson-Neal alleged she had been “drugged, sexually assaulted and abused” in 1992 by the rapper and that he had filmed and distributed the acts as “revenge porn.”
Another complaint filed anonymously accuses Combs and music collaborator Aaron Hall of raping her.
In recent weeks, an additional lawsuit accused Pierre of abusing his position atop Combs’ label to groom and sexually assault his former assistant. The suit says Combs’ company, Bad Boy Entertainment, looked the other way.
Combs, 54, founded Bad Boy in 1993, and was a major figure in hip-hop’s commercialisation over the course of the decades that followed. His proteges included the late Notorious B.I.G. and Mary J Blige.
He is among hip-hop’s billionaires, not least due to his ventures in the liquor industry.
The recent lawsuits against him describe Combs as a violent man who used his celebrity to prey on and intimidate women.