Celebrity

Diddy's lawyer says raids were 'gross overuse of military-level force'

The statement from Sean "Diddy" Combs' lawyer was the first public statement since the mogul's homes were raided Monday.

Television crews report live outside a property belonging to Sean "Diddy" Combs.
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Sean "Diddy" Combs' lawyer said Tuesday that the searches of his Los Angeles and Miami properties by federal authorities in a sex-trafficking investigation were "a gross use of military-level force" and that Combs is "innocent and will continue to fight" to clear his name.

It's the first public statement from the music mogul's team since Monday's raids by Homeland Security Investigations agents in the investigation being run by federal authorities in New York,

"Yesterday, there was a gross overuse of military-level force as search warrants were executed at Mr. Combs' residences," said the statement from attorney Aaron Dyer. "There is no excuse for the excessive show of force and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way his children and employees were treated."

The criminal investigation is a major escalation in the scrutiny of Combs, who has been the defendant in several sexual abuse lawsuits in recent months.

In a lawsuit Combs settled the day after it was filed in November, his former protege and girlfriend, the R&B singer Cassie, sued him alleging years of sexual abuse, including rape. The lawsuit said he forced her to have sex with male prostitutes while he filmed them.

Diddy accused of sex trafficking, assault, RICO crimes in vast lawsuit
Diddy accused of sex trafficking, assault, RICO crimes in vast lawsuit

Diddy accused of sex trafficking, assault, RICO crimes in vast lawsuit

A fifth lawsuit accusing Sean "Diddy" Combs of sexual assault also alleges he was enabled by a RICO enterprise used to acquire sex workers and drugs.

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In February a music producer filed a lawsuit alleging Combs coerced him to solicit prostitutes and pressured him to have sex with them.

Another of Combs' accusers was a woman who said the rap producer raped her two decades ago when she was 17.

Combs and his attorneys have denied all of the lawsuits' allegations.

It is not clear whether the search is related to any of the allegations raised in the lawsuits.

Combs is among the most influential hip-hop producers and executives of the past three decades. Formerly known as Puff Daddy, he built one of hip-hop's biggest empires, blazing a trail with several entities attached to his famous name. He is the founder of Bad Boy Records and a three-time Grammy winner who has worked with a slew of top-tier artists including Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lil Kim, Faith Evans and 112.