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Sean Combs’ lawyer: House raids are ‘witch hunt based on meritless accusations’

The lawyer of US rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs said the raids on two of his homes by US federal authorities was a “gross use of military-level force” against an “innocent” man.

Properties attached to the 54-year-old music mogul were searched by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents on Monday in both Los Angeles and Miami, in the investigation being run by federal authorities in New York.

The searches came amid several ongoing sexual misconduct lawsuits filed against Combs in recent months.

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Music mogul and entrepreneur Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/PA)

“Yesterday, there was a gross overuse of military-level force as search warrants were executed at Mr Combs’ residences,” a statement from lawyer Aaron Dyer to the PA news agency said.

“There is no excuse for the excessive show of force and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way his children and employees were treated.

“Mr Combs was never detained but spoke to and cooperated with authorities.

“Despite media speculation, neither Mr Combs nor any of his family members have been arrested nor has their ability to travel been restricted in any way.

“This unprecedented ambush, paired with an advanced, coordinated media presence, leads to a premature rush to judgment of Mr Combs and is nothing more than a witch hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits.

“There has been no finding of criminal or civil liability with any of these allegations.

“Mr Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name.”

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A law enforcement agent carries a bag of evidence to a van as federal agents stand at the entrance to a property belonging to rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs (Rebecca Blackwell/AP/PA)

Authorities did not specify the reasons for the raids or whether they were connected to Combs, however US media outlets reported it was part of an ongoing sex trafficking investigation by federal authorities in New York.

It comes as Combs has been the subject of several civil lawsuits.

US singer Cassie, whose real name is Casandra Ventura, settled a claim against Combs in November where she alleged she was a victim of rape and violent behaviour during their decade-long relationship – which Combs vehemently denied along with other allegations.

In February, a music producer filed a lawsuit accusing Combs of a catalogue of sexual assault allegations, while another accuser said the musician “sex trafficked and gang raped” her two decades ago when she was aged 17.

Combs and his lawyers have denied all lawsuit allegations.

The US musician, formerly known as Puff Daddy, is a three-time Grammy winner whose hit songs include I’ll Be Missing You, Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down and Give Me Love.

He founded the label Bad Boy Records in the early 90s and has worked with a slew of famous faces including Mary J Blige, Usher and Lil Kim.