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Diddy’s lawyer condemns ‘military force’ in raids of client’s homes

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  • WILLY SANJUAN/INVISION/ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Sean “Diddy” Combs arrives at the LA Premiere of “The Four: Battle For Stardom,” in May 2018, at the CBS Radford Studio Center in Los Angeles. Combs’ lawyer said, today, 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.

    WILLY SANJUAN/INVISION/ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Sean “Diddy” Combs arrives at the LA Premiere of “The Four: Battle For Stardom,” in May 2018, at the CBS Radford Studio Center in Los Angeles. Combs’ lawyer said, today, 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.

LOS ANGELES >> Sean “Diddy” Combs’ lawyer said today that the searches of the rapper’s 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 of his homes by Homeland Security Investigations agents.

“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 searches were part of an ongoing sex trafficking investigation by federal authorities in New York, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss details of the investigation and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Combs was not detained and spoke to authorities, and neither he nor any family members were arrested, nor has their travel been restricted, according to Dyer’s statement.

Dyers said the “unprecedented ambush” has led to a “premature rush to judgment of Mr. Combs and is nothing more than a witch hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits.”

“There has been no finding of criminal or civil liability with any of these allegations,” Dyers said. “Mr. Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name.”

Combs’ sons, Justin and Christian “King” Combs, were handcuffed during the raid at their father’s residence in Los Angeles. King, 25, is a music artist whose song “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” with Kodak Black topped Billboard’s Mainstream R&B Hip-Hop charts in 2022.

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.

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.

The AP does not typically name people who say they have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly as Cassie did.

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.

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