Celebrity News

Model sues Diddy, accusing him of drugging and sexually assaulting her

Crystal McKinney alleged in the lawsuit filed Tuesday in a Manhattan federal court that she was attacked at the rapper's New York City studio in 2003

Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File

A woman who says she felt "a moral obligation to speak up" after a series of abuse allegations against Sean "Diddy" Combs has filed a suit against the hip-hop mogul, accusing him of drugging and sexually assaulting her more than 20 years ago.

Crystal McKinney alleged in the lawsuit filed Tuesday in a Manhattan federal court that she was attacked at the rapper's New York City studio in 2003.

McKinney's allegations come in the wake of a string of lawsuits from others who have accused the star of sexual and physical abuse, gang rape and “serious illegal activity.” Her suit was filed days after a video was made public of Diddy beating ex-girlfriend Cassie in a 2016 attack she detailed in a since-settled lawsuit.

Representatives for Combs, 54, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday. 

Combs uploaded an apology to social media over the weekend, calling his behavior in the video “inexcusable” and saying he was going through a difficult time in his life when the attack happened. He said he had sought therapy and entered rehab shortly afterward, and was working to “be a better man.” 

Diddy is breaking his silence following a viral video’s release appearing to depict him beating his ex-girlfriend Cassie Ventura at a hotel. CNN was first to obtain the footage and reported that it was taken in 2016. On May 19, Sean “Diddy” Combs took to Instagram to address the video. “It’s so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you got to do that.

He has previously denied all allegations of abuse and wrongdoing and vowed to clear his name.

McKinney, who was a 22-year-old model at the time of the alleged assault, met Combs at a Men’s Fashion Week event at Cipriani Downtown in Manhattan, and Combs said she “was going to make it big one day” as a model and promised he’d help her career, she said in the suit.

Combs invited her to his studio, where one of his associates offered her a joint of marijuana and said “you’ve never had weed like this before,” the lawsuit states.

“Plaintiff later came to understand that Combs had laced the joint with a narcotic or other intoxicating substance,” the lawsuit alleges.

Combs allegedly pressured McKinney to smoke more and drink alcohol, though she was severely intoxicated, according to the suit.

“Seeing Plaintiff was very intoxicated, Combs demanded Plaintiff follow him and he physically led Plaintiff to the bathroom,” the lawsuit says. Combs then forced her to perform a sex act, she alleges in the suit.

Attorneys for McKinney declined comment Tuesday.

McKinney in her lawsuit said she was dazed after the alleged sexual assault in the bathroom and passed out in Diddy's studio. She woke up in a taxi and realized she'd been sexually assaulted, she alleges in the suit, which also stated that she saved the clothes she was wearing that night in a plastic bag.

McKinney said in the lawsuit that after the alleged sexual assault, her modeling opportunities dried up and she believes Combs "blackballed" her.

McKinney "became severely depressed as she began to blame herself for the assault and for sabotaging her own career," the lawsuit says. She even feared retaliation from Combs, according to the suit.

The suit does not specify a dollar amount, but seeks damages for pain and suffering and punitive damages.

The suit names Combs, as well as Bad Boy Records and Bad Boy Entertainment, Sean John Clothing, and Universal Music Group.

Universal Music Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

McKinney’s is the seventh lawsuit filed in recent months against Combs, known for his music career and for founding Bad Boy Records, as well as TV shows like “Making the Band” and movie appearances.

Ex-girlfriend Cassie Ventura sued Combs in November and alleged rape and abuse, including being punched, stomped and kicked during their relationship. A settlement was reached the following day.

The other lawsuits are pending.

Combs is a subject of a federal criminal investigation, and agents searched his properties this spring.

A source familiar with the investigation told NBC News in March that three women and a man had been interviewed by federal officials in Manhattan in relation to allegations of sex trafficking, sexual assault and the solicitation and distribution of illegal narcotics and firearms.

Federal agents searched the rapper’s homes in Los Angeles and Miami. Three sources familiar with the matter told NBC News that firearms were found at his residences, but no additional details were provided.

Aaron Dyer, one of Combs’ attorneys, issued a statement following the searches and said that Combs “was never detained but spoke to and cooperated with authorities.” He described the searches as an ambush, saying there’s been a rush to judgment based on “meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits.”

“There has been no finding of criminal or civil liability with any of these allegations,” Dyer said. “Mr. Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name.”

This story first appeared on NBCNews.com. More from NBC News:

Copyright NBC News
Contact Us