Diddy Sued! Lil Rod Pulls Cuba Gooding Jr. Into Epic Legal Battle!

Academy Award recipient Cuba Gooding Jr. has been brought into a lawsuit filed against the beleaguered hip-hop tycoon Sean “Diddy” Combs.

The lawsuit was initiated in February by Diddy’s “Love Album” producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones. On Monday, the lawsuit was modified to include Gooding as a defendant. It also comprises a statement from former Motown Records CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam about technical license arrangements and incorporates more evidence in the RICO and sex-trafficking section of the lawsuit. This information was verified on Tuesday by Jones’ attorney Tyrone Blackburn in an email to The Times.

The revised complaint was lodged on Monday, coinciding with Homeland Security Investigations carrying out raids on residences owned by Combs in Holmby Hills and Miami. The searches were conducted under an investigation into sex trafficking allegations linked to the hip-hop magnate and entrepreneur, according to law enforcement sources. Combs’ lawyer, Aaron Dyer, referred to the raid as an “unprecedented ambush,” leading to a “hasty rush to judgment” and characterized it as a “baseless witch hunt” stemming from civil lawsuits. Dyer stated that Combs had cooperated with the authorities and would continue to fight to prove his innocence.

Blackburn, the lawyer representing Jones, mentioned that he had not been contacted by federal authorities about the Homeland Security investigation.

The lawsuit described Gooding, who has been embroiled in several sexual assault lawsuits and recently pleaded guilty to sexual assault, as a significant figure whose reputation has been damaged. According to the complaint, Jones, a producer from Chicago who worked on nine tracks on Diddy’s 2023 album, felt that Combs was preparing him to be handed off to his friends, a fear that came true when Combs introduced Jones to Gooding on his yacht in January 2023.

Jones accused Gooding of touching his legs, upper inner thighs, lower back, and shoulders, which made him feel extremely uneasy. Despite allegedly refusing Gooding’s advances, Gooding didn’t stop until Jones forcefully pushed him away.

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The complaint argued that Combs, as the property owner, had a responsibility to protect Jones from any harm caused by Gooding. It stated that Combs breached his duty when he failed to prevent Gooding from assaulting Jones, even going as far as to encourage Gooding to continue his assault. The complaint claimed that Jones had suffered greatly due to Combs’ intentional breach of his duty.

Gooding’s representatives did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment on Tuesday.

Gooding, 56, who separately pleaded guilty to forcible touching and settled a rape lawsuit last year, was initially named in Jones’ lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York. Jones alleged that he was sexually harassed and assaulted by the “Jerry Maguire” star.

The “American Horror Story” actor joins a list of co-defendants in the $30-million lawsuit that includes Combs, his son Justin Dior Combs, Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Charles Grainge, UMG, former Motown Records executive Habtemariam and Motown Records, Love Records, Combs Global Enterprises, ABC Corporations, Diddy’s chief of staff Kristina “KK” Khorram, and numerous John and Jane Does. Jones alleged that this network of involvement constitutes a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

In the extensive 105-page complaint, Blackburn claimed that Jones’ life had been adversely affected since he agreed to produce the album in August 2022. Jones alleged that he was under an implicit “work-for-hire” agreement with Combs and lived with him for extended periods in his residences in Los Angeles, New York City, and Miami, and on a yacht rented by Combs in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Identifying himself as a “heterosexual Christian man”, Jones alleged in the lawsuit that he was frequently subjected to unwanted and unsolicited groping by Combs and was uncomfortable with Combs’ advances. He voiced his concerns to Khorram, who reportedly dismissed them, saying “you know, Sean will be Sean”. Blackburn likened Khorram to Ghislaine Maxwell and Combs to Jeffrey Epstein.

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Jones, a multi-instrumentalist, claimed he had “secured undeniable evidence” of illicit activities, including Combs providing alcoholic beverages laced with drugs to underage individuals and sex workers at his homes, and Combs’ acquisition, use, and distribution of drugs and unregistered firearms. Jones also alleged that Combs instructed him to tell the police that Combs had nothing to do with a shooting at a recording studio, even though Jones believed otherwise.

Jones further alleged that he was sexually assaulted by a relative or assistant of rapper Yung Miami, who has dated Diddy. He claimed that he obtained video footage of a rapper and an R&B singer (whose names were redacted from the complaint) interacting with underage girls and sex workers.

Britain’s Prince Harry was also mentioned in the complaint, as he was in the original filing last month. Although no accusations of wrongdoing were made against him, the Prince was referenced in a section about Grainge ignoring the red flags regarding Combs to profit from his sex trafficking venture. (Sex abuse and sex trafficking allegations have plagued Combs over the past year, starting with a lawsuit filed by ex-girlfriend Casandra “Cassie” Ventura in November, which was filed and settled within days.)

The complaint stated that before Ventura’s lawsuit was filed, Combs was a highly influential and popular figure in the music industry. Everyone wanted to connect with him, and his parties were known to be the “best”. Affiliations or business partnerships with Combs conferred legitimacy, enormous success, and access to top and emerging artists, celebrities, athletes, political figures, musicians, and international dignitaries like Prince Harry.

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Grainge, according to the complaint, was aware of the financial benefits of associating with Combs, evidenced by their repeated business partnership agreements. These agreements came with unmonitored financing that might have supported Combs’ alleged sex-trafficking enterprise.

An attorney for Universal Music Group and Grainge issued a statement to The Times on Tuesday, calling Jones’ complaint “recklessly offensive”. They stated that Grainge had been unfairly implicated in the matter, despite having no knowledge or involvement in any of Combs’ alleged activities.

The attorney, Donald S. Zakarin of Los Angeles-based firm Pryor Cashman LLP, further stated that they would not only prove the claims false, but also seek recovery for every penny of cost and damage caused by their assertion.

Richard Winton, a staff writer for The Times, contributed to this report.

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