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Diddy’s ex-friends and former employees speak about alleged abuse

May 29th, 2024

Artists, former friends and ex-employees have shared their thoughts on the allegations of abuse against Diddy, with many of them recalling their own accounts of violence.

The rap mogul – real name Sean Combs – has been at the centre of controversy in recent months following multiple accusations of violence and sexual abuse.

The claims against Diddy came to a head last November, when R&B singer and ex-partner Cassie Ventura filed a lawsuit against the artist for physical and sexual abuse. The two settled the lawsuit “to mutual satisfaction” a day after the case was filed.

A video was later obtained and published by CNN, showing Diddy allegedly attacking Cassie in a hotel. The footage seems to align with the allegations Ventura made in her lawsuit. He has since apologised for his “inexcusable” behaviour in the video.

One week later, two new allegations were made against the rap heavyweight. The first of which claimed Combs drugged and sexually assaulted her, while the other alleged that Combs and singer-songwriter Aaron Hall took turns raping the plaintiff and her friend in 1990 or 1991 – adding that Diddy turned violent days later. Diddy went online to deny all allegations against him, but Hall hasn’t replied to those accusations specifically.

Both came after producer Rodney ‘Lil Rod’ Jones sued Combs and alleged that he sexually assaulted him, had parties where sex workers and underage girls were present, and coerced him to sleep with prostitutes. It also came as he was accused of drugging and assaulting Crystal McKinney, a former model. McKinney accused him of assaulting her at a Men’s Fashion Week event in 2003 by giving her a “powerful” joint and then assaulting her in a bathroom. Diddy labelled the former as “pure fiction”, and did not respond for comment on the latter.

Just last week, Diddy was hit with another lawsuit by a college student accusing him of drugging and assaulting her four times between 1995 and the early 2000s. He did not respond to NME’s request for comment.

Diddy is seen celebrating his birthday at The BoTree on November 09, 2023. CREDIT: Ricky Vigil M / Justin E Palmer/GC Images

Now, Rolling Stone has shared an extensive report into the allegations, and reached out to over 300 people who are connected to Combs to speak about their time being around the artist.

Conducted over six months, the outlet contacted dozens of Combs’ former friends, acquaintances, employees and Bad Boy artists, as well as industry insiders for comment. Around 50 shared their experiences, with many requesting they would only do so off the record due to fear of retribution.

Joi Dickerson-Neal – who is suing Combs for sexual assault – told RS that her decision to come forward “isn’t about money”. “It’s about making sure the world sees that this man who rose to the level of an ‘icon’ is actually sick and has left so many victims in [the wake of his] unpunished disgusting behaviour for years,” they told the outlet.

Others recalled incidents of “unwanted touching and fits of rage”. These included an anonymous source recalling how she kept “as far away as possible” after Combs “caressed” her back without warning and asked if she would be willing to meet one of his friends, and a former student who claimed that Combs “flew off the handle” after she objected to him cutting a cafeteria line.

A third former student told the outlet about how the future mogul would allegedly tap on the window of a class to get a girlfriend to ditch. “She would tense up [when Combs appeared],” the student, who sat next to the woman in class, stated. “He just had a weird control thing. I felt like she was fearful.”

Another student claimed that they saw the rapper get violent towards the woman in the class: “She was trying to defend herself a little bit. She was crying. And we were telling him, ‘Get off of her.’ We were screaming for her,” they said. The woman at the centre of the alleged attack declined comment.

Diddy performs at O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire in a special one night only event at O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire on November 07, 2023
Diddy performs at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in a special one night only event at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on November 07, 2023. CREDIT: Samir Hussein/Getty Images for Sean Diddy Combs

Later in the RS report, Dan Charnas, author of The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop was quoted as saying that Diddy “had the ability to convince people that whatever he was doing or wherever he was, that was the hot shit.”

An anonymous source who used to work with Bad Boy also claimed that the rap mogul was “so volatile”. “He’s always on the edge of snapping and being scary. People did whatever he said to stay in his good graces … and Puffy exploited people’s desires to be in those environments,” they claimed.

Elsewhere in the piece, a freelance graphic designer working with Bad Boy’s marketing team – going by the pseudonym “Anna” – recalled her experience. “I felt quite unsettled about this for many years. When people ask me about my days at Bad Boy, it’s just overshadowed by his crap,” she said, adding that Combs treated her as though she existed to “accommodate his whims.”

Other recollections include an industry source who alleged they once left a party at Combs’ home because they felt so uncomfortable watching him yell at Ventura throughout the night. “You could tell in her eyes that she’s scared,” they said. “I’m like, ‘Is this normal? Am I trippin’ right now? Why is nobody saying anything? Are they that scared of him?’”

Similarly, Mark Curry, who was affiliated with Bad Boy from 1997 to 2006, told RS that he “noticed [Diddy] kill a lot of people’s spirits.”

 P Diddy is seen out and about on November 10, 2023 in London, United Kingdom.
P Diddy is seen out and about on November 10, 2023 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by MEGA/GC Images)

Recalling what it was like to work with Combs at Bad Boy A&R, one anonymous former staffer said: “I would hear about [female artists] being asked to do stuff with some of the other male executives. Like, ‘We can make or break your career, what are you gonna do about it?’… If you want your job, you’re not going there to complain.”

“He’s someone you don’t want to make an enemy out of,” says one former employee shared in the piece. “When people do go against him, that person gets ostracised.”

As part of the investigation, Rolling Stone sent Combs a detailed list of questions about the new allegations. He did not specifically address any of them.

His lawyer shared a response to the outlet, reading: “Mr. Combs cannot comment on settled litigation, will not comment on pending litigation, and cannot address every allegation picked up by the press from any source, no matter how unreliable.

“We are aware that the proper authorities are conducting a thorough investigation and therefore have confidence any important issues will be addressed in the proper forum, where the rules distinguish facts from fiction.”

This is a developing story.

This content was originally sourced and posted at NME »
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