Witnesses in Sean 'Diddy' Combs' sex-trafficking probe prepare to testify before grand jury, source says

FILE -Sean 'Diddy' Combs participates in "The Four" panel during the FOX Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 4, 2018. A former model accused Combs of sexually assaulting her at his New York City recording studio in 2003 in a lawsuit filed Tuesday, May 21, 2024, the latest in a series of allegations against the embattled hip-hop mogul. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
Sean "Diddy" Combs in Pasadena in 2018. (Richard Shotwell / Associated Press)

In an escalation of the criminal probe against music legend Sean "Diddy" Combs, federal prosecutors are preparing grand jury subpoenas for witnesses to testify in the sex-trafficking investigation against him, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Investigators have already interviewed several witnesses and told them to be prepared to testify, the source said, though it remains unclear when that testimony will occur or how far federal officials are in determining whether to bring charges. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

News of the grand jury, which was first reported by CNN, comes two months after investigators raided Combs' homes in Los Angeles and Miami, seeking evidence in a sweeping inquiry into sex-trafficking allegations against the artist.

Combs has not been charged with any crime and has denied any wrongdoing. The probe was launched after three women accused him of rape, assault and other abuses dating back three decades. One of the allegations involved a minor. It’s unclear whether those accusations, which Combs denies, are connected to the investigation.

Read more: Feds want Sean 'Diddy' Combs' communications, flight records in sex-trafficking probe

Little is known about the federal probe, including the identities of any alleged victims. People with knowledge of the investigation who were not authorized to speak publicly said federal investigators are seeking telecommunications and flight records related to Combs. In March, investigators searching Combs’ Holmby Hills mansion emptied safes, dismantled electronics and left papers strewn in some rooms, sources told The Times.

Authorities walk on a street near a property belonging to Sean "Diddy" Combs' in March in Los Angeles.
Federal law enforcement officers searched Sean "Diddy" Combs' Holmby Hills mansion on March 25. (Eric Thayer / Associated Press)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security handles most sex-trafficking investigations for the federal government. Legal experts say one reason the agency could be involved in this case is because some of Combs' accusers might be from other countries.

Combs’ lawyers have strongly criticized the federal probe, calling the searches of his homes “militarized” and a “witch hunt.”

Read more: What to know about the Sean 'Diddy' Combs lawsuits, raids

Earlier this month, a video emerged showing Combs violently attacking his then-girlfriend, Casandra Ventura, the R&B singer known as Cassie, in a Los Angeles hotel in 2016.

Hotel security camera video shows Sean "Diddy" Combs attacking singer Cassie.
An image from security video shows Sean "Diddy" Combs attacking singer Cassie in a Los Angeles hotel hallway in March 2016. (CNN via Associated Press)

The video shows Combs chasing, kicking, dragging and hurling a glass vase at Ventura. It corroborates parts of a civil lawsuit she filed against Combs last year, which was settled a day after it was filed in federal court in New York.

Combs posted a video on Instagram in which he apologized for his behavior in the video.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.