Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Sean Combs, Aaron Hall Accuser Says She Was 16 During Alleged Rape

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A woman who accused Sean Combs and singer-songwriter Aaron Hall of raping her after an MCA Records party in 1990 filed an amended complaint Tuesday, claiming for the first time that she was 16 years old the night of the alleged assault.

In her updated filing signed by lawyer Tyrone Blackburn, plaintiff Liza Gardner also claims that she has a letter from her therapist and an affidavit from a friend stating that she recounted the alleged assault during conversations in 2014 and 2019, respectively. The full statements from the third parties were not made public Tuesday, but Blackburn tells Rolling Stone they will be disclosed “when the case begins discovery.”

“As my records indicate on 2/18/2014, my client disclosed that she was raped by two males in New York when she was 16 years of age,” the therapist purportedly writes in the letter excerpted in the amended complaint. “It is my professional opinion that the trauma of being raped by two men accounted for much of her ongoing symptoms of hypervigilance, anxiety, panic attacks, and episodes of depression, all, symptoms indicative of PTSD.”

The new complaint also adds more details to the original lawsuit first reported by Rolling Stone on Thanksgiving Day 2023, the deadline for lawsuits filed under New York’s Adult Survivors Act — the legislation that opened a one-year window for survivors to sue their abusers and the institutions that protected sexual predators. In her new paperwork, Gardner reveals that the previously unidentified musicians who allegedly brought her to the MCA party were members of the R&B group Jodeci. Gardner states that she was “close friends” with the group, and that Combs had been assigned to help develop Jodeci during his tenure at MCA’s Uptown Records.

The new filing reiterates the broad outlines of the alleged assault, including Gardner’s claim that Combs forced himself on her and raped her during an “afterparty” at Hall’s apartment. It also adds more detail, describing what Gardner was wearing that night — a black skirt and button-up blouse — and how Combs allegedly “coerced” her into sex after giving her alcohol despite her young age. “She recalls Combs mounting her, and forcing up her skirt, pulling her underwear to the side and forcefully penetrating her,” the amended complaint states. “After Combs finished doing his business, Ms. Gardner laid in bed, shocked and traumatized. As she was in the process of getting dressed, Hall barged into the room, pinned her down, and forced Ms. Gardner to have sex with him.”

In both complaints, Gardner alleges that Combs and Hall also took turns having sex with her friend in another room. The friend is not identified. “Upon information and belief, when Combs finished with Ms. Gardner, he and Hall switched, and they commenced intercourse with Ms. Gardner’s friend,” both complaints state. The new complaint updates the timeline after that, saying it was the “following day” that Combs allegedly arrived at Gardner’s doorstep and “began assaulting and choking Ms. Gardner to the point that she passed out.”

Reps for Combs and Hall did not immediately reply to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment. Combs previously denied Gardner’s claims in a statement from a spokesperson.

“These are fabricated claims falsely alleging misconduct from over 30 years ago and filed at the last minute. This is nothing but a money grab. Because of Mr. Combs’ fame and success, he is an easy target for anonymous accusers who lie without conscience or consequence for financial benefit,” the spokesperson said back in November. “The New York Legislature surely did not intend or expect the Adult Survivors Act to be exploited by scammers. The public should be skeptical and not rush to accept these bogus allegations.”

Gardner is one of five plaintiffs to sue Combs with allegations of sexual assault in recent months. The first to step forward was Cassie Ventura, the R&B singer who filed a blockbuster complaint on Nov. 16 alleging rape, sex trafficking, and repeated beatings. (Combs reached a private settlement with Cassie a day later.)


A second accuser who also filed her lawsuit on Thanksgiving alleged Combs drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1991 and then showed video of the assault to others. In early December, a fourth accuser alleged Combs, former Bad Boy president Harve Pierre, and a third man gang raped her at Combs’ New York recording studio in 2003 when she was 17 years old. Two weeks ago, music producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones filed a lawsuit accusing Combs of sexual assault, harassment, and not compensating him for work on the Grammy-nominated The Love Album.

Combs has denied any wrongdoing in all the cases against him. Still, he stepped down from the chairmanship of his media company Revolt last year as more than a dozen companies fled his e-commerce platform. He did not attend February’s Grammy awards despite his nomination for Best Progressive R&B Album.

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