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Producer alleges in new complaint that Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs was involved in shooting at recording studio

An amended complaint filed Monday adds new allegations to a lawsuit filed last week by producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, who alleges Combs sexually harassed and threatened him. Combs’ lawyer has denied the initial allegations.
Sean "Diddy" Combs
Sean "Diddy" Combs at the album release party for "The Love Album: Off the Grid" in New York City in September. Shareif Ziyadat / Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — A music producer who is suing Sean “Diddy” Combs is doubling down on allegations that Combs and his son were involved in a shooting at a Los Angeles recording studio in 2022, as well as allegations of harassment.

Combs was sued Feb. 26 by Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, a producer on his most recent album, who alleged Combs sexually harassed, drugged and threatened him while he traveled and lived with Combs from September 2022 to November 2023.

In the initial complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Jones also detailed a shooting at a “writers and producers camp” at Chalice Recording Studio in Los Angeles on Sept. 12, 2022. In addition to Jones, he said Combs, Combs’ son Justin and Justin’s friend, identified as “G,” were there.

The details provided in that complaint and an amended complaint filed Monday, however, differ from information about the shooting provided by Los Angeles police and Combs’ attorney, Shawn Holley.

The suit also alleges that Combs is part of a “RICO enterprise” and that he and others are involved in a “sex trafficking venture.” A RICO enterprise is one in which people or groups act together to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which is meant to target organized crime. The complaint is the latest legal trouble for Combs, who has been hit with a number of recent lawsuits, including multiple allegations of sexual assault.

The shooting

The original complaint includes Jones’ account that he heard multiple gunshots after a “heated conversation” in a nearby bathroom. When the bathroom door opened, Combs and his son walked out and Jones found G “lying on the restroom floor in a fetal position, holding his stomach and bleeding out of his leg/hip area,” the lawsuit said.

Jones said he took the victim to the front of the studio, where an ambulance was waiting. The Los Angeles Fire Department has not responded to a request last week for more information about the shooting.

Jones alleged in the suit that Combs instructed him to tell police that Combs had nothing to do with the shooting and that it was committed outside the studio by a drive-by assailant. Jones maintained that G was not shot outside Chalice.

Chalice Recording Studio did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. It also did not respond to a request for comment last week.

Chalice Recording Studio in Los Angeles.
Chalice Recording Studio in Los Angeles.Google Maps

The amended filing includes a message Chalice is alleged to have sent to an unnamed person stating: “The shooting occurred a half a block away from Chalice and it was a result of a robbery. There are police reports corroborating this. Please wait for facts to come out before you start contributing to the defamation of our organization.”

That lines up with Holley’s understanding of the sequence of events.

“When LAPD arrived on scene, it was immediately determined (conclusively) that the shooting took place some distance from the studio,” she said Monday.

The amended complaint also states, citing a media report, that Holley claimed G went to the studio after he was shot.

But Jones’ original suit claims police were inside Chalice and “witnessed the blood in the restroom” but still “went with the bogus claim” that the shooting took place outside the studio.

Included in the original filing are screenshots purportedly showing “the aftermath of the restroom where G was shot by either Mr. Combs or J. Combs.” NBC News has not been able to identify the red liquid depicted in the screenshots. Jones also claimed he has the clothing he wore the day of the shooting, which he says may have the DNA of the shooting victim.

The amended filing also includes a photo of Combs purportedly at the studio on the night in question. The filing says Combs and his son were not at the studio when police arrived, and it alleges that Combs and his son “hid out” in another studio while police investigated and that they were the first to leave after officers departed.

Holley disputed that account Monday, saying, “It is my understanding that Sean and Justin were at a completely different part of the studio when the shooting victim ran into the bathroom.”

She added that she does not believe police interviewed Combs or his son.

NBC News has not confirmed whether Combs and his son were interviewed. Capt. Kelly Muniz said Saturday that police would not comment on the pending civil suit or any of the specific allegations.

Representatives for Justin Combs on Feb. 27 denied the allegations filed in the original complaint, which they called “absurd” and “lies,” and said there would be “legal consequences for ALL defamatory statements made about the Combs family.”

LAPD's account

Los Angeles police have said officers responded to a call of a possible shooting early on Sept. 12, 2022, on the 800 block of North Highland Avenue — the same block as Chalice.

Police said the victim told them two people approached him while he was next to his vehicle, which was parked on the street, demanded his property and shot him in the torso after a struggle.

Two months later, police arrested three people and alleged they were responsible for a series of robberies throughout the city and possibly others. A police spokesman told NBC News that included the Sept. 12 shooting.

On Tuesday, Holley told NBC News that Los Angeles police confirmed the shooting did not happen at or near the studio, that Combs was not a suspect and that people involved are being prosecuted.

Police did not specifically respond to the initial allegations detailed in the original complaint, but a source familiar with the investigation said Combs was not involved in the investigation. NBC News has not confirmed whether Combs was interviewed.

Private investigator mentioned in amended complaint

In the original complaint, Jones alleged that Combs called Jones in August 2022 to request that Jones produce several songs on the R&B album “The Love Album: Off the Grid,” which was released last September and was nominated for a Grammy.

Jones alleged in the original complaint that over their time living and working together, Combs sexually harassed and assaulted him multiple times. He said he was also forced to solicit sex workers and perform sex acts with them to please Combs.

In what Jones said was an incident in February 2023, he said that he woke up naked, dizzy and confused in bed with Combs and two sex workers and that he believes Combs drugged him.

In the original complaint, Jones said he has hundreds of hours of video and audio to support his allegations of sexual harassment because Combs often required Jones to “record him constantly.” The video and audio of Combs, his staff and his guests allegedly shows them “engaging in serious illegal activity,” the suit said.

Holley, the attorney for Combs, called Jones’ allegations in the original filing “complete lies” on Feb. 26, adding: “We will address these outlandish allegations in court and take all appropriate action against those who make them.”

In the suit filed Feb. 26, Jones described Combs as “forceful and demanding” and someone who does not take no for an answer. Jones alleged that Combs, being one of the most influential people in the music industry, leveraged his power to intimidate Jones, including by making threats that he would cause bodily harm to Jones if he did not comply with Combs’ demands.

“Mr. Combs consistently made it clear that he has immense power in the music industry and with law enforcement,” the lawsuit said.

In the amended complaint, Jones alleged that he learned last week that a private investigator, who he claims is linked to Combs, sought out, harassed and bribed a close friend “to provide dirt” on Jones.

Jones claimed the investigator tried to bribe the friend to produce evidence to “paint Mr. Jones in a bad light.” The filing alleges Jones’ friend is now afraid for their safety and that of their family following the alleged communication.

Representatives for Combs did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday about the private investigator allegation.

Jones alleges he was not paid for work on latest album

Jones also alleged in the Feb. 26 filing that he was not paid for his work on “The Love Album: Off the Grid,” despite being “under an implied work-for-hire agreement.” The lawsuit says that Combs, Love Records, Motown Records and Universal Music Group benefited from his work but that he was not compensated. Love Records, Motown Records and Universal Music Group did not respond to a previous request for comment.

In the amended complaint filed Monday, Jones said that when he was recruited to work on “The Love Album,” he told the recruiter he wanted $20,000 per song, 4 royalty points, credit as a producer, credit for each instrument played on the songs and the retention of his publishing rights.

Jones said he and the recruiter orally agreed to the terms. Combs guaranteed the terms were “accepted.” Because of that, Jones signed on to the project, the complaint says.

The amended complaint alleges Jones suffered losses including $220,000, four royalty points and producer credits for nine songs. He is seeking $30 million.

“Filing a lawsuit should never be the first option in a dispute. We can have an honest discussion to resolve the issues as I suggested, or we can follow the same plan Shawn Holley used that got her clients Danny Masterson and Tory Lanez convicted. Makes one wonder who is really managing this situation for Mr. Combs,” Jones’ attorney, Tyrone Blackburn, said Monday.

In a response to a request for comment on Feb. 26, Blackburn used a Latin phrase, “res ipsa loquitur,” which loosely translates as “the thing speaks for itself,” referring to the lawsuit.

Universal Music Group and its chairman and CEO, Lucian Grainge, did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment on the amended complaint.

Previous suits

In addition to Jones’ suit, four women filed separate lawsuits against Combs late last year, all accusing him of sexual assault.

The first was filed by singer Cassie, whose legal name is Casandra Ventura. In it, she said Combs physically abused her and forced her to have sex with male prostitutes while he masturbated and recorded it. The suit was settled the day after it was filed, but the settlement was “in no way an admission of wrongdoing,” an attorney for Combs said at the time.

Following Cassie’s lawsuit, two other women — Liza Gardner and Joie Dickerson-Neal — sued Combs alleging he sexually assaulted them.

Then, a woman identified only as Jane Doe in court documents filed another lawsuit, alleging Combs and two other men gang-raped her when she was 17 and Combs was 34.

Those three cases are still pending. In Doe’s case, the court ruled Thursday she cannot remain anonymous if the case proceeds.

In a statement in December, Combs denied the allegations against him, saying “enough is enough,” and called the claims “sickening.”

“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,” he said in the statement at the time.

Diana Dasrath and Andrew Blankstein reported from Los Angeles and Rebecca Cohen from New York City.