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Law enforcement raids Sean 'Diddy' Combs's properties in LA and Miami

Properties connected to rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs were raided on Monday by federal agents.

The Department of Homeland Security said it had pursued the "law enforcement actions as part of an ongoing investigation" in New York, Los Angeles and Miami.

Two properties were searched in Los Angeles and Miami as part of the probe.

Officials did not specify the reasons for the raids or whether they were tied to Mr Combs.

Several recent lawsuits have accused Mr Combs of sexual misconduct.

In a statement, lawyers for Mr Combs said the accusations against him were "meritless" and described the raids as a "gross overuse of military-level force".

On Monday, Homeland Security Investigations agents were conducting their operations in the 17,000 square foot mansion where Mr Combs announced his latest album release last September.

The address of the house is associated with Mr Combs' Bad Boy Films production company. Located in the wealthy Los Angeles neighbourhood of Holmby Hills, the area is home to numerous celebrities and the Playboy Mansion.

Sean Combs
Sean Combs

Two law enforcement officials told the Associated Press that the raids were part of an ongoing sex-trafficking investigation.

The BBC has not independently confirmed this reporting.

Last year, R&B singer Cassie, whose full name is Casandra Ventura, filed a lawsuit in New York federal court against Mr Combs, whom she had dated between 2005 and 2018.

In court documents, she alleged years of abuse at the hands of the rapper, though she later settled the lawsuit with him.

Two other women then came forward with their own lawsuits, accusing him of sexual abuse. A man also has come forward accusing Mr Combs of sexual misconduct.

Douglas Wigdor, lawyer for Ms Ventura and another alleged victim, said on Monday that his clients supported the law enforcement efforts.

"Hopefully, this is the beginning of a process that will hold Mr Combs responsible for his depraved conduct," Mr Wigdor said in a statement.

On Tuesday, attorney Aaron Dyer, who represents Mr Combs, reiterated that his client had not been arrested and said the raid was "nothing more than a witch hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits".

"There is no excuse for the excessive show of force and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way his children and employees were treated," he said.

"Mr. Combs was never detained but spoke to and cooperated with authorities.

"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."

Mr Combs remains one of the most influential and significant hip-hop producers of the past several decades.

He is the founder of Bad Boy Records and is a three-time Grammy winner who has worked with A-list artists like Usher and Mary J Blige.