Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Tuesday June 18, 2024
Tuesday June 18, 2024

Model’s lawsuit against Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs claims drugging, sexual assault in 2003



Crystal McKinney alleges Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2003, lawsuit details kept unwashed clothing as evidence

A former model, Crystal McKinney, has filed a lawsuit against music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, alleging that he drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2003. McKinney, who gained fame after winning MTV’s first “Model Mission” beauty pageant in 1998, claims she preserved her unwashed clothes from the night of the alleged assault in a plastic bag for over two decades.

According to the lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York, McKinney, then 22, attended a Men’s Fashion Week event in New York at the invitation of a designer who suggested that Combs could help advance her modelling career. The designer helped McKinney prepare for the meeting, arranging for her to get hair extensions and wear a revealing outfit.

The lawsuit details that McKinney wore a black leather coat with a fur hood, a translucent chiffon beige v-cut shirt, a fur-lined handbag, and jewel-encrusted jeans. “Due to the traumatic events to occur later, Plaintiff saved the unwashed clothing from that night in her closet where they remain in a plastic wrap,” the filing states.

McKinney was taken to Cipriani Downtown, where she met Combs and his entourage. Throughout the dinner, Combs made several sexually suggestive comments and gestures towards McKinney. He complimented her, saying she was “beautiful” and whispered that she “was going to make it big” as a model, while repeatedly refilling her wine glass.

After dinner, Combs invited McKinney to his studio on West 44th Street in Midtown. There, she found Combs and several men drinking and smoking marijuana. McKinney alleges that after she initially accepted drinks and marijuana, Combs pressured her to continue consuming both substances even after she expressed a desire to stop.

Feeling heavily intoxicated, McKinney claims that Combs forcibly kissed her and then compelled her to perform oral sex on him despite her protests. “As she was being assaulted, Plaintiff felt panicked and physically sick,” her lawyers stated. McKinney lost consciousness afterward and later woke up in a taxi heading back to the designer’s apartment, realizing she had been sexually abused.

McKinney’s lawsuit also reveals that she attempted suicide in 2004 when her modelling career began to decline, which she attributes to being “blackballed” by Combs. She is demanding a trial by jury.

Since November, Combs has faced multiple lawsuits accusing him of rape, sexual misconduct, and other crimes. His ex-girlfriend, Cassie Ventura, also filed a suit against him. Recently, video footage emerged showing Combs attacking Ventura in a Los Angeles hotel hallway in 2016, prompting him to post an emotional apology video. However, Ventura’s lawyers criticized the video, stating it focused more on Combs than the victims.

In April, federal agents raided Combs’ properties in California and Florida as part of a human trafficking investigation by the Department of Homeland Security. Combs has denied all allegations and has not been charged with any crimes.


The lawsuit filed by Crystal McKinney against Sean “Diddy” Combs brings to light significant issues surrounding power dynamics in the entertainment industry and the long-lasting impact of sexual assault on victims. McKinney’s detailed account of the alleged assault and her decision to preserve evidence for over two decades highlights the deep psychological trauma survivors endure and their quest for justice.

From a sociological perspective, this case underscores the systemic challenges faced by individuals, particularly women, in the modelling and entertainment industries. McKinney’s narrative suggests a culture where young, aspiring professionals may feel pressured to comply with influential figures to advance their careers. This dynamic often places them in vulnerable situations, leading to exploitation and abuse.

Economically, the case illustrates the potential repercussions for victims who speak out against powerful industry figures. McKinney’s career reportedly suffered after the alleged assault, which she believes was due to Combs’ influence. This aspect of the case highlights the broader issue of economic retaliation against whistleblowers and the significant barriers they face in rebuilding their careers.

Gender perspectives are also crucial in analyzing this case. The entertainment industry has a long history of male dominance, and cases like McKinney’s reveal how gender power imbalances can lead to sexual exploitation. McKinney’s experience reflects the broader #MeToo movement, which has exposed numerous instances of sexual harassment and assault by powerful men in various industries.

From a legal standpoint, the preservation of unwashed clothing as evidence for over two decades demonstrates the lengths to which survivors may go to seek justice. This aspect of the case could influence future legal strategies for survivors of sexual assault, emphasizing the importance of preserving evidence despite the passage of time.

The racial dynamics in this case should not be overlooked. As a Black woman, McKinney’s allegations against a prominent Black male figure in the entertainment industry add layers of complexity to the discourse on race, power, and victimhood. It raises questions about the intersectionality of race and gender in cases of sexual assault and the unique challenges faced by women of colour in seeking justice.

Lastly, the public and media reactions to such cases play a significant role in shaping societal perceptions. The backlash against Combs, combined with the support for McKinney and other survivors, reflects changing attitudes towards sexual misconduct and the increasing willingness of society to hold influential figures accountable.

In conclusion, Crystal McKinney’s lawsuit against Sean “Diddy” Combs highlights critical issues related to power dynamics, economic retaliation, gender and racial inequalities, and the long-term impact of sexual assault. This case underscores the importance of supporting survivors in their pursuit of justice and the need for systemic changes to prevent abuse and exploitation in the entertainment industry.


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