Diddy probe: Record label fires back after music producer accuses him of assault

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Lawyers for the record label named in a bombshell lawsuit accusing Sean “Diddy” Combs of sexually abusing a male music producer have asked a federal judge to speed up the process of dismissing their clients from the case as legal pressure mounts against the mogul himself.

In a letter to the judge, attorney Donald Zakarin called Rodney Jones’ inclusion of the recording giant in the lawsuit an attempt “to fit a square peg into a round hole” as he distanced Combs, who is facing scrutiny from Homeland Security Investigations, from the label.

Zakarin, who represents UMG Recordings and its Motown Records division, is asking the court to have the allegations against the label and current and former executives, including CEO Lucian Grainge, dismissed. 

Jones’ lawyer, Tyrone Blackburn, first amended the lawsuit last month, and the record company previously moved to have that dismissed even as it backtracked on allegations involving the label and its executives. He has since sought to file a second amended complaint with additional revisions, a move the record label has asked the judge to deny.


Sean Combs walks in a white t-shirt outside his Miami home on the phone

Sean Combs is shown outside his Miami home on Easter. (Backgrid/Mega)

“The motion to amend should be denied as futile, so the motion to dismiss can be promptly addressed,” Zakarin argued.

The latest filings include two sworn statements from record executives who disputed Jones’ version of events. The music giant also denied having any ownership stake in Combs’ Love Records label, for which Jones worked for about a year.

Jones has already agreed to drop former Motown CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam from the lawsuit. In her own written statement, she called the claim that the record label or its executives were involved in any of the alleged sex trafficking “vile and deeply upsetting accusations, and are completely untrue.”

She also accused Jones’ legal team of asking her to sign a “materially false” declaration.

Sean Combs sits in front of red backdrop

Sean Combs faces multiple sexual assault lawsuits. (Getty Images)

Jones has also blamed the record label for lax security at a 2022 writing workshop in a music studio, where the producer claimed to have overheard a shooting and insinuated that Combs could have been responsible.

Combs or one of his companies involved in organizing the workshop should have been responsible for any security at the event, the label countered in court.

Blackburn has countered on social media that he has an abundance of additional evidence not yet mentioned in court filings. 

Rodney Jones Diddy Thanksgiving

Rodney Jones’ lawyers included this image in the lawsuit. According to court filings, it was taken at a Thanksgiving party with Jones pictured on the left sitting next to Sean “Diddy” Combs. (Southern District of NY)

“The plaintiff’s attorney appears that he is advancing claims on behalf of his client that are demonstrably inaccurate – at least from the perspective of the filings from the defense,” said David Gelman, a New Jersey-based attorney and former prosecutor who has been following the case. “If true, that is not only a problem from the perspective of the viability of his application but also from an ethical point of view.”

The social media posts from Jones’ attorney could be another problem, he said.

“His comments are not ‘professional’ in my opinion and are more in line with a pro-wrestler,” he added. “The optics are bad. He really needs to do his talking in court and not online. And those bad optics play into the claim that he is advancing a false narrative to generate media attention.”

Rodney Jones sitting in a recording studio in dim lighting as another man sits beside him with an arm on his shoulder

Rodney Jones, in his lawsuit against Sean “Diddy” Combs, alleges that this photograph shows him with Cuba Gooding Jr. on a yacht that Combs rented and where the actor allegedly made unwanted advances. (Southern District of New York)


The civil lawsuit aside, experts say the fact that the government obtained search warrants for two of Combs’ sprawling homes is damning.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York doesn’t go to a federal judge and get multiple search warrants unless they think they have probable cause to get a grand jury indictment,” said Neama Rahmani, a Los Angeles-based former federal prosecutor. “I think he’s done.”

Derrick Parker, a former member of the NYPD’s rap-related intelligence unit, told Fox News Digital that the government would typically find something substantial before seeking a search warrant in broad daylight.

P Diddy is on his waterfront spot at his home in Miami without a shirt on and carrying a wine glass

Sean “Diddy” Combs stands on the waterfront side of his Star Island mansion in Florida on March 30, 2024. The home was raided earlier in the week in connection with a sex trafficking investigation. (Backgrid/Mega)


“The reason that Homeland Security got involved is because something came across that they had to get involved,” said Parker, whose book, “Notorious COP,” delves into the investigation into the 1999 nightclub shooting in which Combs was acquitted.

“He was quiet for a while, but the problem you have is that now all these things are all coming to light,” he added. “All these people that have past histories with him, they’re all coming out of the woodwork.”


Diddy and Cassie sit on a couch

Singer Cassie claimed she endured more than a decade of abuse at the hands of Sean “Diddy” Combs. (Getty Images)

Combs’ ex-girlfriend, Casandra Ventura, better known as the R&B singer Cassie, sued him in November alleging rape and other abuse. They settled a day later without the billionaire Combs admitting wrongdoing.

However, in the months since, at least four other people have sued him alleging similar abuse, including Jones and three other women, one of whom alleges she was under the age of 18 at the time she became a victim.

Despite the federal investigation, Combs has not been charged with a crime and denied all accusations of wrongdoing. 

His attorney called Jones’ lawsuit “pure fiction.”

Diddy looks serious in a leather jacket and black shirt with a diamond cross chain and black sunglasses

Sean “Diddy” Combs has kept a low profile since his homes were raided on March 25. (Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images for Sean “Diddy” Combs)


“Lil Rod (Rodney Jones) is nothing more than a liar who filed a $30 million lawsuit shamelessly looking for an undeserved payday,” Combs’ lawyer, Shawn Holley, previously told Fox News Digital. “His reckless name-dropping about events that are pure fiction and simply did not happen is nothing more than a transparent attempt to garner headlines.”

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