Music

Sean Combs Fires Back at ‘Gang Rape’ Lawsuit, Calling It ‘Fictional’ and ‘Unconstitutional’

Sean “Diddy” Combs has filed his first legal response to allegations that he “sex trafficked” and “gang raped” a 17-year-old girl in 2003, telling a federal court that the allegations are “fictional” and violate his constitutional right to due process.

The lawsuit, filed in December, was one of several abuse cases filed against the hip hop mogul late last year. In it, an unnamed Jane Doe accuser claimed that Combs and former Bad Boy Records president Harve Pierre “plied” her with drugs and alcohol before raping her in a Manhattan recording studio when she was just a high school junior.

But in his first formal response to the lawsuit, attorneys for Combs tell a federal court Tuesday that the events simply did not happen: “He never participated in, witnessed, or was or is presently aware of any misconduct, sexual or otherwise, relating to plaintiff in any circumstance whatsoever.”

Led by prominent entertainment litigator Shawn Holley, Combs’ attorneys not only argue that the allegations are false, but that they are unconstitutional. They say that the statute cited in the lawsuit — New York City’s Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law — is itself unconstitutional “on its face,” and that his accuser’s “decision to wait more than two decades” has cost Combs “the ability to defend himself fully and fairly.”

“For example, some or all evidence that otherwise would have been available if the action had been promptly commenced may be unavailable, lost, or compromised,” Holley writes. “The absence of evidence materially impacts defendant’s ability to defend against essential aspects of plaintiff’s claims. Witness identification, availability, and recollections are likely compromised due to the substantial passage of time since the alleged incident.”

The lawyers for Combs also say the case violates the so-called doctrine of unclean hands – meaning the accuser filed the lawsuit in bad faith. In making that argument, they said the lawsuit “alleges an entirely fictional account that never occurred.” They also argue that photos cited by the accuser in her complaint could be fake, disputing the “context, genuineness, and/or accuracy” of the images.

Combs was hit with a deluge of abuse claims late last year, first in the form of explosive allegations of rape by R&B singer and longtime romantic partner Cassie. That case quickly settled, but Combs was then sued by two other women who say they were sexually assaulted, and then hit with the current case over the alleged 2003 rape of Jane Doe.

Combs has already strongly denied all of the allegations. In a statement in December, he said: “I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth.”

In her complaint, Jane Doe claimed that she met Pierre at a Detroit club in 2003, when she was just a junior in high school. After he “smoked crack cocaine” and “sexually assaulted Ms. Doe by forcing her to give him oral sex,” she says she flew to New York on Combs’ private jet to visit him in his Manhattan recording studio.

While at the studio, the lawsuit claims that Combs, Pierre and an unnamed third man “plied Ms. Doe with drugs and alcohol” until she was so inebriated that she “she could not possibly have consented to having sex with anyone, much less someone twice her age.”

“While at the studio, Ms. Doe was gang raped by Mr. Combs, the Third Assailant and Mr. Pierre, in that order,” Wigdor writes in the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims the unnamed man “raped Ms. Doe as she told him to stop,” and that Pierre “violently forced her to give him oral sex, during which Ms. Doe was choking and struggling to breathe.”

After the attack, the lawsuit says the accuser “could barely stand up” and “had to be helped to walk out of the building and back into a car.” She says she was then flown back to Michigan.

Also on Tuesday, Pierre filed his own formal response to the lawsuit, saying he “never participated in the sexual assault of the Plaintiff nor did he ever witness anyone else sexually assaulting the plaintiff.” Two corporate entities named in the lawsuit — Daddy’s House Recordings, Inc. and Bad Boy Entertainment Holdings, Inc. – also asked to be dismissed from the case, arguing they could not be held liable for any alleged wrongdoing by Pierre and Combs.

In a statement to Billboard on Wednesday, Jane Doe’s lawyers sharply rejected the arguments from Combs’ lawyers: “The deeply troubling allegations against the defendants by multiple women speak for themselves. The ridiculous claim that the photos are somehow fake and the law at issue is unconstitutional are nothing more than desperate attempts to conjure a defense where none exists.”

Read Diddy’s full legal filing here:

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