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Diddy Allegations Include These Major Music Industry Moguls

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When Homeland Security raided music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs’ homes on Monday, it put the spotlight back on another lawsuit he is facing.

Authorities raided the rap icon’s properties in Los Angeles and Miami as part of a sex trafficking investigation. However, Combs was not charged and has not been named in proceedings at the time of printing.

His attorney Aaron Dyer slammed the raids “as nothing more than a witch hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits,” adding in a statement to Newsweek that Combs was “innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name.”

diddy performing wearing red
Diddy performs onstage during the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. He has been accused of multiple crimes in a civil lawsuit.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for MTV

Combs has been the recipient of many civil lawsuits since November, including from his ex-girlfriend, Cassie Ventura, which he settled one day after she filed it. The R&B singer had accused him of sexual assault, forcing her to do drugs and abuse.

Another recent lawsuit came from music producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, who accused Combs of similar acts and implicated some high-profile people in the music industry in the lawsuit.

Jones is suing the 54-year-old for $30 million in damages from psychological harm he claimed he suffered while working with Combs on his The Love Album: Off the Grid record in 2022.

The lawsuit lists a number of defendants, including Combs’ chief of staff Kristina Khorram, Combs’ son Justin Combs, actor Cuba Gooding Jr. and Lucian Charles Grainge, the CEO of music label Universal Music Group (UMG).

Subsidiaries of UMG, Motown Records and Combs’ own Love Records labels were also named in the suit.

The lawsuit claimed Grainge and the other defendants allegedly “aided, abetted, and induced Sean Combs’ sex-trafficking venture,” and that as CEO of UMG, Grainge was “100% liable for the actions of Sean Combs.”

Combs and Grainge have slammed the claims in the lawsuit.

“In an offensively reckless complaint, Sir Lucian has been improperly dragged into this matter despite having no knowledge of, nor any involvement in, any of Mr. Combs’ alleged conduct,” a UMG spokesperson told Newsweek in a statement.

“Not only will we demonstrate the offensive falsity of these claims, but we will seek recovery of every penny of cost and damage caused by their assertion.”

But it was Grainge’s name that caught the attention of one consumer advocate who pointed out the influence UMG has in the music world.

Ian Carroll runs the Cancel This Clothing Company website, which says it aims “to spread unity through financial education and awareness. To start talking about what’s really going on.”

Carroll took to TikTok to highlight how ubiquitous a company UMG was in the music industry by looking at the top 100 songs of 2023 and working out which ones were by artists signed to UMG or one of its subsidiaries.

“What I did is, I went to the Billboard Hot 100 and I grabbed all these songs by these different artists and put them into a chart… and then I did the research to figure out what record labels own those songs,” he explained.

“And when it’s all done, Universal controls 33 out of 2023’s top 100 songs. That is one-third of the music on the top hits charts.”

Carroll added that his research was not supposed to prove anything other than “pointing out how small and consolidated and tied together the music industry is,” and if that raised any important questions regarding Jones’ lawsuit.