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Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs accused in third lawsuit this month of sexually assaulting a woman

Singer Aaron Hall is also named in the lawsuit. The woman, identified as Liza Gardner, accused Combs and Hall of assaulting her and her friend in the early 1990s.
Image: Sean Combs
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Sean "Diddy" Combs in Las Vegas, in 2022.Jordan Strauss / Invision/AP file

Sean “Diddy” Combs is being accused of sexual assault by another woman, who alleged in a lawsuit that the music mogul and the R&B singer Aaron Hall assaulted her and her friend at Hall’s apartment in 1990 or 1991.

The alleged assault happened following an event at the offices of MCA Records, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in New York Supreme Court, one day before the expiration of the New York Adult Survivors Act, which allows adult sexual assault survivors one year to sue regardless of when the original statute of limitations expired.

A spokesperson for Combs told NBC News: “The claims involving alleged misconduct against Mr. Combs from over 30 years ago and filed at the last minute are all completely denied and rejected by him. He recognizes this as a money grab. Because of Mr. Combs’ fame and success, he is an easy target for accusers who will falsify the truth, without conscience or consequence, for financial benefit. The New York Legislature surely did not intend or expect the Adult Survivors Act to be exploited for improper purposes. The public should be skeptical and not rush to accept these unsubstantiated allegations.”

Hall could not immediately be reached for comment.

Woman says she was 'shocked and traumatized'

The woman, identified in the complaint as Liza Gardner, said she and a friend met Combs and Hall, who was a member of the R&B group Guy, at the record label’s offices for an event MCA was hosting. The friend is not named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The suit alleges that Combs and Hall were “very flirtatious and handsy with Liza Gardner and her friend” and offered them drinks throughout the event. Toward the end of the night, Combs and Hall invited Gardner and her friend back to Hall’s apartment for an after-party, according to the lawsuit.

“While at Hall’s apartment, Liza Gardner was offered more drinks and was coerced into having sex with Combs,” the suit says. “After Combs finished doing his business, Liza Gardner laid in bed, shocked and traumatized.”

While she was trying to get dressed, Hall allegedly “barged into the room, pinned her down, and forced Liza Gardner to have sex with him,” the suit says.

Following the alleged assaults, she got dressed and ran from the home, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit accuses both men of sexually assaulting Gardner’s friend that same evening at Hall’s home.

“Upon information and belief, when Combs finished with Liza Gardner, he and Hall switched, and they commenced assaulting Liza Gardner’s friend,” the lawsuit alleges.

Days later, Combs went to the home where Gardner and her friend were staying, became “irate” and allegedly assaulted and choked Gardner until she passed out, according to the suit. It says that Combs was allegedly looking for the friend because he feared she would tell the “girl he was with at the time.”

In addition to Combs and Hall, the lawsuit names MCA Music Entertainment Group and Geffen Records as defendants. NBC News reached out to Universal Music Group, the owner of Geffen and now defunct MCA. A spokesperson there did not immediately respond to a request for comment.   

When reached for comment, Tyrone Blackburn, an attorney for Gardner, said his client is in the “process of securing her medical documents, and witness statements.”

“We will amend the complaint in the coming week and have more to share at that time,” Blackburn said.

Other lawsuits accuse Combs of sexual abuse

Combs and some of his companies have been at the center of sexual abuse lawsuits in the past week. Another accuser, Joie Dickerson-Neal, filed a separate lawsuit Thursday alleging that Combs drugged her and sexually assaulted her in 1991 while she was a college student at Syracuse University. Dickerson-Neal, who said she “reluctantly” had dinner with Combs at a New York City restaurant and then accompanied him as he ran errands, also accused Combs of recording the assault without her knowledge and sharing that video with other people.

"I am so thankful for the bravery of the other women that came forward, the Adult Survivors Act which opened up the filing window to seek justice, and the unwavering support from my attorneys," Dickerson-Neal said in a statement Friday. "For 32 years, the only people I have been able to confide in were my close friends and therapists. I’m feeling as if the darkness has been lifted and I can freely move forward in achieving my full potential.”

A spokesperson for Combs denied the allegations, saying the claims are “not credible” and “this is purely a money grab.”

“This last-minute lawsuit is an example of how a well-intentioned law can be turned on its head,” a spokesperson for Combs said. “Ms. Dickerson’s 32-year-old story is made up and not credible. Mr. Combs never assaulted her, and she implicates companies that did not exist. This is purely a money grab and nothing more.”

During the time span mentioned in the lawsuit, when Dickerson-Neal alleges a sexual assault took place, Combs worked for Uptown Records and had not yet formed his companies.

Dickerson-Neal said she decided to file a lawsuit after Combs’ former girlfriend, singer and actor Cassie, filed a federal lawsuit alleging he raped, sex-trafficked and abused her. Cassie’s lawsuit was settled one day later for an undisclosed amount of money. 

Cassie, whose full name is Casandra Ventura, said she “decided to resolve this matter amicably on terms that I have some level of control.” Ben Brafman, a lawyer for Combs, said the mogul’s decision to settle was “in no way an admission of wrongdoing.”

“Mr. Combs’ decision to settle the lawsuit does not in any way undermine his flat-out denial of the claims,” Brafman said.

Douglas Wigdor, an attorney for Cassie, has not directly commented on Jane Doe or Dickerson-Neal’s lawsuits but said Friday, “In my experience handling sexual assault cases it is not uncommon for other victims to come forward once the first brave survivor makes public allegations concerning a high-profile perpetrator.”

Another lawsuit was filed Tuesday accusing Harve Pierre, the ex-president of Bad Boy Entertainment and Bad Boy Records, of sexually assaulting an unnamed former assistant. Combs’ companies were also named in the lawsuit on one count of gender-motivated violence and two counts of negligence. 

Pierre did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the allegations. A spokesperson for Bad Boy Entertainment said Wednesday that the company was aware of the lawsuit and is “now investigating the allegations.”