Diddy Hit With Sex Trafficking Lawsuit by Former Exotic Dancer

Diddy Hit With Sex Trafficking Lawsuit by Former Exotic Dancer

Diddy Hit With Sex Trafficking Lawsuit by Former Exotic Dancer

Sean “Diddy” Combs has been hit with a new lawsuit by exotic dancer Adria English, who claims she was a victim of sex trafficking orchestrated in the 2000s by the Bad Boy mogul and others she named in a sprawling complaint filed Wednesday (July 3) in New York federal court.

According to the lawsuit, filed by attorneys Ariel Mitchell-Kidd and Steven Metcalf, English was a victim of sex trafficking at the hands of Combs along with his fellow defendants Tamiko Thomas, who was allegedly an employee of Bad Boy Entertainment at the time, and a man named Jacob Arabov (a.k.a. Jacob The Jeweler). She alleges that the trio was “aided and abetted” by several companies also named as defendants in the complaint, including Bad Boy Entertainment, Combs Global Enterprises, Sean John Holdings, VIBE magazine and its current parent company, Penske Media Corporation (PMC). (PMC did not own VIBE when the alleged events occurred.)

Notably, the complaint alleges that the actions of all defendants amounted to a violation of federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) laws, which have historically been used to target the mafia, drug cartels and other organized crime rings (a similar state-level law in Georgia has formed the basis of prosecutors’ case against rapper Young Thug, whom they allege leads a violent Atlanta street gang known as Young Slime Life). These types of racketeering laws make it easier for prosecutors to sweep up members of alleged criminal enterprises based on many individual actions.

English claims she first came into contact with Combs in 2004 — when she says she was working as a dancer at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club in Manhattan — after accompanying her then-boyfriend, model Anthony Gallo, to an audition for a Sean John modeling campaign. While at the audition, she says Gallo and another model were asked to perform fellatio on Combs as a condition of booking the job. After Gallo refused, she claims he was later told he could book the campaign if he commanded English to work as a go-go dancer at Combs’ Labor Day White Party in the Hamptons, N.Y. “In an effort to assist Mr. Gallo’s desire to become a model, Plaintiff agreed to what she believed to be legitimate employment,” the complaint reads.

While working the event, English says she was instructed to give lap dances and be “sexually flirtatious” with guests and “forced to consume liquor and illicit narcotics,” including bottles she claims were laced with ecstasy. She alleges she was subsequently invited to perform at additional White Parties, where Combs and Thomas — whom she compares to Ghislaine Maxwell, the former associate of late sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein — eventually “groomed” her into sex trafficking.

By her third White Party, English claims that Combs and Thomas demanded she partake in sexual intercourse with guests, using knowledge of her past work in adult films “to coerce” her into doing so. This activity, she claims, continued through 2009 at White Parties thrown at Combs’ Hampton and Miami residences.

One of the men English says she was forced to have sexual intercourse with during this period was Jacob Arabov (Jacob The Jeweler) at the behest of Combs, as she feared she could lose her job along with her boyfriend’s future modeling opportunities. “Plaintiff, fearing not only her safety, but her and her then-boyfriend’s job security, did as instruct and went with Defendant Jacob where she engaged in forced sexual intercourse with Defendant Jacob at the demand and behest of Defendant Combs,” the complaint reads.

English further alleges that Combs kept hidden cameras in every room of his Hamptons and Miami homes and believes her sexual assaults were caught on tape, including when she was “unconscious.”

During this period, English also alleges that VIBE magazine published an image of her in a November 2006 story about Combs’ White Parties without her consent, claiming its use violates her “rights to privacy via misappropriation.” She claims she “did not discover the infringing use” until April 2024. She further accuses VIBE and parent company PMC of “intentionally and falsely marketing and promoting” Combs’ White Parties “as a high-profile networking and social event in an effort to disguise and deceive the real intent of the event…and to further the goals of the Defendants illegal and criminal Enterprise.”

English says she continued putting up with Combs’ demands in part due to promises that he would help her break into the music business by putting her in an all-female music group. She says she finally detached herself from Combs when she returned to California in 2009, at which point she claims she suffered from deep depression and anxiety in response to the past trauma of being assaulted and trafficked, along with her unraveling career.

According to the lawsuit, English’s victimization at the hands of Combs and his alleged co-conspirators has led her to suffer continued “extreme emotional distress” that has impacted every aspect of her personal life.

In a statement sent to Billboard, Combs’ attorney Jonathan Davis said, “No matter how many lawsuits are filed it won’t change the fact that Mr. Combs has never sexually assaulted or sex trafficked anyone. We live in a world where anyone can file a lawsuit for any reason and without any proof. Fortunately, a fair and impartial judicial process exists to find the truth and Mr. Combs is confident he will prevail against these and other baseless claims in court.”

Billboard reached out to Thomas and Arabov for comment but had not heard back by press time. PMC declined to comment.

This is the 10th sexual misconduct lawsuit to be filed against Combs since his ex-girlfriend, pop star Cassie, made waves with her sexual abuse suit against the mogul in November, which was settled less than 24 hours later. He has vehemently denied all cases against him. Combs’ Miami and Los Angeles homes were raided by federal agents in March, though no arrests were made.

In May, disturbing footage obtained by CNN showed Combs abusing Cassie in an elevator bank at a Los Angeles hotel in March 2016. Soon after the footage came out, Combs apologized for his actions, which he says he was “disgusted” by.

“I was f—ed up. I mean, I hit rock bottom. But I make no excuses,” he said in the since-deleted Instagram clip. “My behavior on that video is inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I’m disgusted. I was disgusted then when I did it, I’m disgusted now.”

In the wake of the allegations, the fallout for Combs has continued to reverberate. Last month, his media company Revolt announced employees would become the company’s largest shareholders after Combs reportedly sold his stake to an anonymous buyer. Also in June, Combs’ Miami Day honor was revoked and Howard University withdrew an honorary degree it bestowed upon him.

Editor’s Note: PMC is the parent company of Billboard.

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