Sean 'Diddy' Combs' yacht draws comparisons to Epstein amid sex trafficking probe

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With federal investigators looking into Sean “Diddy” Combs in a sex trafficking investigation after multiple women and at least one man accused him of bad behavior, the hip-hop mogul is drawing comparisons to Jeffrey Epstein.

Like Epstein, a financier who had his own private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Combs has been accused of luring victims with his luxurious lifestyle and – in some cases – assaulting them aboard a yacht he rented for trips to the Virgin Islands and Saint Barthelemy. 

Some of the most explosive allegations have come from a February lawsuit producer Lil Rod, whose real name is Rodney Jones, filed against Combs, alleging a pattern of sexual assaults and sex trafficking he claims are recorded on hidden cameras throughout the mogul’s homes.


Sean Combs Los Angeles home with Homeland Security Investigators

Homeland Security officials raided Combs’ LA home last week. (Getty Images)

Combs’ mansions in Los Angeles and Miami were raided earlier this week in connection with a federal human trafficking investigation, months after similar accusations emerged in a series of lawsuits.

The lawsuit also alleges Combs had an aide who played a role similar to Ghislaine Maxwell’s, Epstein’s madame who is now a convicted trafficker.

Just a few weeks ago, Combs, 54, was riding high, receiving the ceremonial key to New York City and celebrating the release of his first album in years on the same day.

“The bad boy of entertainment is getting the key to the city from the bad boy of politics,” Mayor Eric Adams said as he presented a giant key to Combs in Times Square, according to FOX 5 New York.

Sean "Diddy" Combs holds up the key to New York City at a ceremony alongside Mayor Eric Adams

Sean “Diddy” Combs, left, receives a key to the city from Mayor Eric Adams in Times Square Sept. 15, 2023, in New York City.  (Raymond Hall/GC Images)


“He escaped a lot because of who he was,” said Derrick Parker, a former member of the NYPD’s rap intelligence unit who investigated the 1999 nightclub shooting that landed Combs and Jennifer Lopez in handcuffs. “Now, a lot of stuff is just coming back to him.”

From a deadly stampede early in his career, to a nightclub shooting where a protégé took the fall and recent sex trafficking allegations, Bad Boy Records founder Combs has largely prevailed in his legal battles. 

Men in uniform with massive guns hangout around Diddy's home in Beverly Hills

Law enforcement agents outside Diddy’s Beverly Hills estate March 25. Homeland security raided several of the rapper’s properties.  (HIGHFIVE/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images)

Combs has been acquitted of gun and bribery charges and been mentioned in connection with hip-hop feuds that led to real-life violence without being implicated in any crimes.


“The bad boy of entertainment is getting the key to the city from the bad boy of politics.” 

— Mayor Eric Adams

But the recent lawsuits kicked off a federal investigation that resulted in raids on his mansions in Los Angeles and Miami last week. Combs and his lawyers denied any misconduct.

The hip-hop icon and founder of Bad Boy Records rose to prominence in the music industry in the early 1990s, then branched out into clothing design, liquor and other businesses, making himself a billionaire.

Sean Combs sits on stage in a grey shirt and looks invested in a conversation

Sean “Diddy’ Combs settled with his ex-girlfriend Cassie, one day after she filed a lawsuit against him. (Paras Griffin/Getty Images)


He came from humble beginnings. His early rise to prominence involved a feud between emerging hip-hop stars on the country’s East and West coasts. 

In 1991, Combs promoted a benefit event at the City College of New York that turned deadly when an altercation in the crowd led to a stampede of fans that crushed eight people to death.

Daily News newspaper cover from morning after deadly stampede at Puff Daddy event

The New York Daily News front page from Sunday, Dec. 29, 1991, about the CCNY rap concert Sean “Puffy” Combs promoted and at which eight people were crushed to death in a stampede. Combs, now known as Diddy, has been implicated but cleared in a series of legal battles over the ensuing decades. (NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)


Combs and girlfriend Jennifer Lopez were arrested in New York City in 1999 on weapons and bribery charges after an altercation with another man led to a gunfight at Club New York that injured three people.

The couple left, but after blowing a red light, police found a gun in their car.

Paul Mauro, a retired NYPD inspector and now a Fox News contributor, happened to be working in the same precinct the following morning but was not involved in the investigation.

Jennifer Lopez in a white crop top and bandana sitting next to Sean Combs, then known as Puff Daddy, who is wearing a white T-shirt and a baseball cap at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards

Puff Daddy and Jennifer Lopez at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards. (Kevin Mazur Archive 1/WireImage)


“Diddy was not there, I remember that,” he recalled. “She was all distraught. I just remember she had her head down, and I have this recollection of her looking very small and very, very diminutive and kind of shellshocked.”

Police held Lopez for about 14 hours before releasing her without charges. Combs was later indicted and then acquitted of gun charges and of bribing his bodyguard to take the fall.

His friend, rapper Shyne, wound up in prison for assault in connection with the bar brawl and recorded part of his next album behind bars.

Giggs And Diddy Perform At O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire In A Special One Night Only Event

Shyne and Diddy onstage at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire Nov. 7, 2023, in London. The two were charged in a 1999 shooting in New York City, but only Shyne was convicted. (Samir Hussein/Getty Images for Sean Diddy Combs)

One of the three people wounded in the Club New York shooting, Natania Reuben, told NewsNation Thursday that it was Combs’ bullet that struck her, not Shyne’s, whose real name is Jamal Barrow.

“I literally watched them pull out the guns,” she told the station. “I had a clear point of view. I mean, for God’s sake, I got shot in my nose.”


R Kelly in a black t-shirt and bowler hat shakes hands with Diddy, wearing a denim coat, sweater and scarf

R. Kelly and P. Diddy during a press conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Both men drew the attention of Homeland Security Investigations after women came forward with allegations of sex abuse. Kelly was convicted in 2022. Diddy, whose mansions were raided by federal law enforcement earlier this month in an unrelated case, has not been charged. (Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Even after becoming a well-established leader in the music industry, allegations of violence continued to follow Combs. Police in Los Angeles arrested Diddy in 2015 after he allegedly attacked an assistant coach at the University of California’s LA campus with a kettlebell. He claimed self-defense, and the district attorney declined to prosecute.

Jones, in his lawsuit, alleges Combs continued exhibiting violent tendencies in 2022 and 2023.

Last year, his ex-girlfriend, Casandra “Cassie” Ventura, filed an explosive federal lawsuit alleging rape, forced prostitution and physical abuse. They settled the lawsuit a day later — without Combs admitting wrongdoing.

But more allegations emerged of abuse spanning decades.

Joi Dickerson-Neal filed another lawsuit, alleging Diddy drugged, raped and abused her on tape while she was a college student at Syracuse University in 1991.


Another woman, Liza Gardner, also filed a lawsuit, claiming Combs allegedly coerced her into having sex at a party and that his friend also raped her. Days later, according to the civil complaint, Combs allegedly beat her up.

He was also named in a third lawsuit from a Jane Doe who was underage at the time of her alleged sexual assault. In 2017, a former personal chef sued him, claiming he made her work during sex parties. They settled the case two years later.

Yung Miami and Sean "Diddy" Combs both wearing red and performing on stage together

Yung Miami and Diddy perform onstage at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center Sept. 12, 2023, in Newark, N.J. (Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images)

Filings in the Jones case are so alarming that his lawyers included a “trigger warning” at the top of the civil complaint.

Jones alleges that there are “HUNDREDS of hours of footage and audio recordings of Mr. Combs, his staff, and his guests engaging in serious illegal activity” at mansions in multiple states and on a yacht that traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Saint Barthelemy. 

Jones Diddy Lawsuit Trigger Warning

Rodney Jones’ lawsuit against Sean “Diddy” Combs begins with a “trigger warning.” (Southern District of New York)

Jones, whose lawyers describe him as a musical prodigy, spent a year living with Combs and producing nine songs for Diddy’s new album, “The Love Album: Off the Grid,” the record released the same day he received his key to the city.

During that time, he claims to have witnessed Combs “providing laced alcoholic beverages to minors” and prostitutes and committing other crimes.

The lawsuit also alleges two unnamed individuals, one a rapper and the other an R&B singer, were “consorting with underaged girls” on Combs’ yacht and at his Los Angeles mansion. Jones also claims actor Cuba Gooding Jr. assaulted him in a studio onboard the yacht.

Cuba Gooding Jr. wears black trench coat

Cuba Gooding Jr. struck a plea deal in a sex abuse case last year, allowing him to keep a clear criminal record. (Johnny Nunez)

Gooding did not immediately respond to a request for a response to the allegations.

“It is like Epstein,” Parker told Fox News Digital. “It borders on that … and the reason being is that these video tapes are going to be very interesting.”

An expert on the intersection of crime and the hip-hop industry who has written a book on the issue, Parker said he expects HSI investigators to be pouring through any footage seized in the raids to determine if any crimes were committed and if any other high-profile people were present. 

The more lawsuits that emerge, the more accusers Parker said he expects to come forward.

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 this photograph shows him with Cuba Gooding Jr. on a yacht Combs rented in which the actor allegedly made unwanted advances. (Southern District of New York)

And the evidence in the lawsuits, even those that were settled, will likely play a role in the ongoing federal investigation, Mauro said.

“That stuff is very penetrative,” he said. “[Federal prosecutors] are going to subpoena all of that stuff.”


Diddy has denied wrongdoing. In a statement pinned to his X profile, the mogul said accusers have been trying to “assassinate” his character.

“Sickening allegations have been made against me by individuals looking for a quick payday,” he wrote. “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.”

Fox News’ Elizabeth Stanton, Lauryn Overhultz and Tracy Wright contributed to this report.

Also Read More: World News | Entertainment News | Celeb News

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