Sean 'Diddy' Combs' homes raided by federal agents in wake of sex trafficking allegations

Homeland Security agents searched the hip-hop mogul's properties in Los Angeles and Miami.

Federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security raided two properties in Los Angeles and Miami belonging to embattled hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs on Monday.

In a statement provided to EW, Homeland Security Investigations said, "Earlier today, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York executed law enforcement actions as part of an ongoing investigation, with assistance from HSI Los Angeles, HSI Miami, and our local law enforcement partners. We will provide further information as it becomes available."

According to the Associated Press, citing two unspecified law enforcement officials, the searches were carried out as part of an ongoing sex trafficking investigation by federal authorities in New York. Local news station Fox 11 Los Angeles captured video from a helicopter showing armed officers entering a mansion in the Holmby Hills neighborhood, and a few people subsequently being detained.

In a statement Tuesday, an attorney for Combs, Aaron Dyer, called the raids "a gross overuse of military-level force" and said his client "is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name."

<p>Taylor Hill/FilmMagic</p> Sean Combs

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Sean Combs

Fifty-four-year-old Combs — also known at times as Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, and Love — has been one of the most prominent figures in hip-hop for decades, founding Bad Boy Records in 1993 and working closely with artists including the Notorious B.I.G.Mary J. Blige, and Usher.

But the rapper, producer, and entrepreneur's public image has come under intense scrutiny in recent months amid allegations of rape, sex trafficking, and other abuses. In November, he was sued by R&B singer Cassie, a.k.a. Casandra Ventura, a longtime romantic partner who alleged that he sexually assaulted her and subjected her to years of controlling behavior and physical abuse. Combs denied the allegations, and he and Ventura reached a settlement one day later.

Since then, several more lawsuits have been filed against Combs, who has maintained his innocence. In a statement provided to EW in December, he said, "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."

<p>HIGHFIVE/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images</p> A law enforcement vehicle outside Sean Combs' Beverly Hills estate

HIGHFIVE/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

A law enforcement vehicle outside Sean Combs' Beverly Hills estate

Responding to news reports of the raids Monday, Douglas Wigdor, an attorney for Ventura and a Jane Doe accuser suing Combs, said in a statement provided to EW, "We will always support law enforcement when it seeks to prosecute those that have violated the law. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a process that will hold Mr. Combs responsible for his depraved conduct."

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