Sean 'Diddy' Combs seeks dismissal of revenge porn, human trafficking claims in lawsuit

Sean Combs poses at an event in a cream suit
Sean "Diddy" Combs, shown arriving at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas in 2022, is asking a New York court to throw out portions of a lawsuit filed by a woman who accuses the rapper of drugging and sexually assaulting her in 1991. (Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)

Sean "Diddy" Combs' legal team is pushing back against his accusers in their civil suits as a federal sex-trafficking probe continues.

His lawyers are asking a New York court to throw out portions of a sexual assault lawsuit filed by attorneys for Joi Dickerson-Neal accusing the rapper of drugging and sexually assaulting her in 1991, when she was 19. The lawsuit alleges the assault was recorded and video footage was shared with Combs' friends.

The lawyers are seeking to undermine the entire basis for the suit and asking that certain claims, including allegations of revenge porn and human trafficking, be dismissed with prejudice, meaning they can not be refiled.

Combs, they argued, cannot be sued in this instance because the relevant New York laws regarding revenge porn and human trafficking did not go into effect until decades after the alleged incident. The revenge porn law was enacted in 2019, while the trafficking law came on the books in 2007.

Read more: Sean 'Diddy' Combs faces sweeping sex-trafficking inquiry: What the feds have, need to prove

The filing comes on the heels of heavily armed Department of Homeland Security agents bursting into Combs' Holmby Hills and Miami mansions on March 25 with search warrants and seizing paperwork and electronics as part of a sex trafficking investigation directed by prosecutors in the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York, according to law enforcement sources.

In a motion submitted Friday seeking to dismiss large chunks of the Dickerson-Neal suit, Combs' attorneys labeled its accusations as "false, offensive, and salacious" and said they "vehemently deny, substantially all of the claims purportedly alleged." Lawyers also sought to strike portions of the lawsuit targeting Combs' corporations because "the Company Defendants were not in existence at the time of the alleged conduct."

According to the lawsuit, Dickerson-Neal, then a student at Syracuse University, met Combs during a break and “reluctantly agreed” to have dinner with him at a Harlem restaurant, saying he “pushed” her to keep him company after their meal.

The suit, filed in November, alleges Combs gave the woman drugs that put her in a “physical state where she could not independently stand or walk.” When the two arrived at a music studio, she was unable to get out of the vehicle, according to the lawsuit. He then “proceeded to a place he was staying to sexually assault her,” the filing states.

Read more: A timeline of allegations against Sean 'Diddy' Combs

Dickerson-Neal is one of several women, including Combs’ longtime girlfriend Casandra “Cassie” Ventura, who have filed explosive lawsuits accusing the artist of sexually and physically abusing them. Combs has since settled the Ventura suit.

All the lawsuits were filed under the Adult Survivors Act, a law that went into effect in November 2022 in New York that allows individuals who believe they were sexually assaulted a one-year window during which they can sue their abusers, even if the statute of limitations for prosecuting the underlying alleged crimes had expired.

In February, producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones filed a lawsuit alleging that Combs sexually assaulted and harassed him and that several people in his circle engaged in illicit behavior.

In response to growing litigation, Combs wrote on Instagram: “Enough is enough. For the last couple of weeks, I have sat silently and watched people try to assassinate my character, destroy my reputation and my legacy. Sickening allegations have been made against me by individuals looking for a quick payday. Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth.”

His lead attorney, Aaron Dyer, called the federal raids "an unprecedented ambush," saying, "There has been no finding of criminal or civil liability with any of these allegations."

"Mr. Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name," Dyer said after the search warrants were served.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.