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Sean Combs’s Lawyer Says Rap Mogul Confronted ‘Unprecedented Ambush’

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A lawyer for Sean Combs, the hip-hop mogul whose houses have been raided by federal brokers on Monday, known as the searches “a gross overuse of military-level pressure” and criticized them as “nothing greater than a witch hunt based mostly on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits.”

“There isn’t any excuse for the extreme present of pressure and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way in which his youngsters and workers have been handled,” the lawyer, Aaron Dyer, mentioned in a press release on Tuesday. “Mr. Combs was by no means detained however spoke to and cooperated with authorities. Regardless of media hypothesis, neither Mr. Combs nor any of his relations have been arrested nor has their potential to journey been restricted in any manner.”

On Monday, armed brokers from Homeland Safety Investigations searched two of Mr. Combs’s houses in Los Angeles and Miami Seashore, Fla. The authorities didn’t say whether or not Mr. Combs was a goal or what felony fees they have been investigating. However the investigation was led by prosecutors within the Southern District of New York, in line with a law-enforcement official.

“This unprecedented ambush — paired with a complicated, coordinated media presence — results in a untimely rush to judgment of Mr. Combs,” Mr. Dyer added, “and is nothing greater than a witch hunt based mostly on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits. There was no discovering of felony or civil legal responsibility with any of those allegations. Mr. Combs is harmless and can proceed to struggle each single day to clear his title.”

On the identical day as these searches, federal brokers additionally stopped Mr. Combs at an airport within the Miami space as he was making ready to depart with relations for the Bahamas, and took various digital units from Mr. Combs, in line with an individual with data of the matter. Mr. Combs was not arrested, and remained in america, in line with that individual.

The raid was a hanging growth for Mr. Combs, who has been one of many highest-profile figures within the music trade for many years, credited with reworking hip-hop and R&B within the Nineteen Nineties into a worldwide enterprise. He labored with stars like Mary J. Blige and the Infamous B.I.G., and as not too long ago as final fall was being showered with trade accolades.

Movies and pictures from the raid that have been broadcast by information organizations, and circulated extensively on social media, confirmed brokers apparently flattening a door at Mr. Combs’s mansion within the unique Holmby Hills space of Los Angeles and confiscating computer systems and different units.

Federal investigators in New York have been conducting interviews asking potential witnesses about sexual misconduct allegations towards Mr. Combs for a number of months, in line with an individual acquainted with the interviews.

The raid this week got here after a collection of civil lawsuits in current months which have accused Mr. Combs, usually in graphic and disturbing element, of sexual assault. The primary, in November, was filed by Casandra Ventura, referred to as Cassie, Mr. Combs’s former girlfriend and an artist as soon as signed to his document label, Dangerous Boy. She alleged that along with rape and bodily abuse, Mr. Combs pressured her to have intercourse with male prostitutes in accommodations throughout america over a interval of years.

Ms. Ventura’s case was settled in simply sooner or later, with she and Mr. Combs each saying they’d reached their settlement “amicably,” and a lawyer for Mr. Combs noting that the settlement was “on no account an admission of wrongdoing.”

Fits by three different ladies have been filed in fast succession, every accusing Mr. Combs of sexual assault. And in February, a music producer filed one other swimsuit, saying that he had been sexually assaulted by Mr. Combs and compelled to rent prostitutes and take part in intercourse acts with them.

In earlier statements, Mr. Combs and his attorneys have vehemently denied the allegations in these fits, saying they have been filed by individuals searching for a “payday.” However the fits have made Mr. Combs a pariah within the music trade and put a lot of his wider enterprise empire in danger.

Hamed Aleaziz contributed reporting from Washington, D.C.