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Sean 'Diddy' Combs denies claims he gang raped 17-year-old girl

Sean "Diddy" Combs is disputing claims made in December that he gang raped a 17-year-old girl in a New York recording studio in 2003, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

The original lawsuit, filed by an unnamed Jane Doe, alleges Combs and two others gang raped Doe when she was in her junior year of high school, according to court documents obtained by USA TODAY at the time. Combs, who has been accused of sexual and physical assault by multiple women in several recent civil suits, is named in Doe's lawsuit along with former Bad Boy Entertainment president Harve Pierre, who has also been accused of sexual assault in a separate suit.

Now, in a response filed Tuesday in the Southern District of New York, Combs is denying Doe's allegations. According to the court documents obtained by USA TODAY Wednesday, the music mogul "never participated in, witnessed, or was or is presently aware of any misconduct, sexual or otherwise" in relation to the accuser.

In Diddy's response to Doe's suit, his lawyers push back about the validity of the photos featured in the original complaint that Doe claimed were taken at the studio that night in 2003, including one where she's seen sitting on the lap of Combs, then 34.

Sean "Diddy" Combs arrives at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on May 15, 2022. Two years later, he is facing a series of legal challenges amid claims of physical and sexual assault.
Sean "Diddy" Combs arrives at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on May 15, 2022. Two years later, he is facing a series of legal challenges amid claims of physical and sexual assault.

New lawsuit accuses Diddy former Bad Boy president Harve Pierre of gang rape

What does the lawsuit against Sean 'Diddy' Combs allege?

The suit alleges Pierre approached the 17-year-old in 2003 at a lounge in Michigan, telling her he was "best friends" with Combs. After calling Combs to prove their relationship, the woman alleges Pierre and Combs convinced her to take a private jet to Daddy’s House Recording Studio, owned and operated by Diddy.

An unidentified "third assailant" is also named as a defendant. The suit seeks unspecified compensatory damages for lost wages, as well as "mental pain and anguish and severe emotional distress."

Combs, Pierre and the unnamed third assailant then plied the plaintiff, referred to as "Jane Doe," with drugs and alcohol, the suit claims, and "viciously" gang raped her.

Sean 'Diddy' Combs temporarily steps down as chairman of Revolt following sexual assault lawsuits

Combs and Pierre "preyed on a vulnerable high school teenager as part of a sex trafficking scheme that involved plying her with drugs and alcohol and transporting her by private jet to New York City where she was gang raped by the three individual defendants at Mr. Combs’ studio," the plaintiff's attorney Douglas H. Wigdor said in a statement at the time. "The depravity of these abhorrent acts has, not surprisingly, scarred our client for life."

Sean "Diddy" Combs, pictured accepting the lifetime achievement award at the BET Awards on June 26, 2022, is responding to a lawsuit claiming that he gang raped a 17-year-old girl in 2003.
Sean "Diddy" Combs, pictured accepting the lifetime achievement award at the BET Awards on June 26, 2022, is responding to a lawsuit claiming that he gang raped a 17-year-old girl in 2003.

Sean 'Diddy' Combs responds to claims he raped 17-year-old girl

In December, Combs responded to the lawsuit with a statement of his own.

"ENOUGH IS ENOUGH," he said. "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," Combs continued.

A series of lawsuits filed in court in November were subject to New York under the Adult Survivors Act, which expired on Nov. 23. The gang rape allegations filed in this particular case constitute a "crime of violence motivated by gender" under New York's Violation of the Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law, the suit says.

Sean 'Diddy' Combs accused by Cassie of sex trafficking, rape and physical abuse in lawsuit

In November, Combs' ex, the model and actress Cassie Ventura alleged the record label exec raped her in 2018 and subjected her to years of sexual and physical abuse in a lawsuit, which the two settled one day after it was filed.

The parties said that a resolution had been reached in the case in a release sent by attorney Wigdor, who represents the plaintiff in the gang rape case. Ventura, known professionally as singer Cassie, filed a sex trafficking and sexual assault lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, according to court documents.

In a statement, Cassie said, "I have decided to resolve this matter amicably on terms that I have some level of control. I want to thank my family, fans and lawyers for their unwavering support."

"We have decided to resolve this matter amicably. I wish Cassie and her family all the best," Combs said in a separate statement. "Love."

Sean 'Diddy' Combs legal team says Cassie settlement is not 'admission of wrongdoing'

Rap mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs and singer Cassie, pictured here at the 2018 Met Gala, settled a lawsuit by the singer alleging years of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of Diddy.
Rap mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs and singer Cassie, pictured here at the 2018 Met Gala, settled a lawsuit by the singer alleging years of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of Diddy.

Ben Brafman, Combs' lawyer, added in a statement to USA TODAY: "Just so we're clear, a decision to settle a lawsuit, especially in 2023, is in no way an admission of wrongdoing. Mr. Combs' decision to settle the lawsuit does not in any way undermine his flat-out denial of the claims. He is happy they got to a mutual settlement and wishes Ms. Ventura the best."

The complaint alleged Combs forced Cassie into "repeated unwanted sexual encounters" with male prostitutes whom he hired, and he recorded their encounters; plied her with drugs and alcohol; raped her in 2018; and "frequently beat" and kicked her with "uncontrollable rage" over the course of a decade.

Although the settlement avoided the potential of a trial for both Combs and Ventura, who could have faced a process of legal discovery and cross-examination in the courtroom, it opened the doors to public scrutiny and three more lawsuits against Combs.

Contributing: Anika Reed

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sean 'Diddy' Combs pushes back at gang rape claims