Days after Sean “Diddy” Combs settled rape, sex-trafficking and abuse allegations with the singer Cassie, his companies have been named in a new lawsuit that alleges a longtime executive sexually harassed and assaulted a former assistant.
The lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court on Tuesday, accuses Harve Pierre, a former president of Bad Boy Entertainment and Bad Boy Records, of engaging in a yearlong pattern of grooming the unnamed assistant, “leading to sexual harassment of Plaintiff, and sexual assault.”
“From approximately 2016 to 2017, Pierre sexually assaulted Plaintiff on multiple occasions in New York City and other locations throughout the country,” the suit stated.
He left the company in 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile. While Pierre did not immediately respond to a request for comment, a spokesperson for Bad Boy Entertainment said the company was aware of the lawsuit from its former employee.
“The allegations are from many years ago that were never brought to the attention of the company,” the spokesperson said. “Neither the plaintiff nor the executive are current employees of the company. We are now investigating the allegations, and our top priority is the safety and well-being of our employees.”
The suit against Pierre was filed using the New York Adult Survivors Act, which allows survivors of alleged sexual abuse a one-year window to sue even if the original statute of limitations has passed. The law, set to expire after Thanksgiving, has cleared the way for more than 2,500 lawsuits. Combs, former President Donald Trump, actor Russell Brand, Grammy-winning music exec L.A. Reid and Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx are some of the notable figures who have been sued under the act.
The filing also names Bad Boy Entertainment, Bad Boy Records and Combs Enterprises, which are being sued for gender-motivated violence and two counts of negligence. Combs Enterprises has been rebranded as Combs Global, a spokesperson for Combs told NBC News on Wednesday.
The suit alleges the companies retained Pierre and did not have proper systems in place to properly vet leaders in hiring or to educate and detect possible abuse.
The former assistant is requesting full and fair compensation for injuries and damages in an unspecified amount to be determined by the court.
Pierre was a regular fixture on MTV’s “Making the Band” and has worked with dozens of top artists including the Notorious B.I.G., Yung Joc, SWV and hip-hop duo 8Ball & MJG.
Combs and Pierre first met at Howard University in the 1980s. When Pierre was first made the president of Bad Boy Entertainment in 2008, Combs made a toast, saying Pierre was “like a brother” to him.
The latest filing adds to the lengthy list of accusations and troubles for Combs, who has faced legal action or settlement payouts more than four dozen times over a career spanning four decades as a rapper, producer and mogul, according to court documents reviewed by NBC News.
His settlement with Cassie, whose full name is Casandra Ventura, came one day after she sued Combs. The two had been romantic partners.
“I have decided to resolve this matter amicably on terms that I have some level of control,” Ventura said in a statement. “I want to thank my family, fans and lawyers for their unwavering support.”
The lawsuit alleged Combs trapped Ventura “in a cycle of abuse.”
“Mr. Combs asserted complete control over Ms. Ventura’s personal and professional life, thereby ensuring her inability to escape his hold,” the lawsuit alleged.
Ben Brafman, a lawyer for Combs, rejected the accusations Thursday, calling them offensive and outrageous, and said Combs “vehemently denies” them.
In a statement Saturday, Brafman said a decision to settle, “especially in 2023, is 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,” he said. “He is happy they got to a mutual settlement and wishes Ms. Ventura the best.”
Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms.
Natalie Kainz is a news associate for NBC News.
Nicole Childers is the executive editor of Business, Tech and Innovation at NBC News.