Sean 'Diddy' Combs's accuser adds Cuba Gooding Jr. to sexual assault lawsuit. Everything we know.

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr.
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. (Alec Tabak/Reuters) (REUTERS / Reuters)

Rodney "Lil Rod" Jones, a music producer who sued Sean "Diddy" Combs for sexual assault and harassment in February, has added actor Cuba Gooding Jr. to the lawsuit.

🚨 What just happened?

On March 25 — the same day that two of Combs’s properties were raided amid an ongoing sex trafficking investigation — Jones’s complaint, which had been filed in federal court against Combs and various associates, was amended to add the Jerry Maguire actor as a co-defendant.

Jones claimed in the lawsuit, initially filed on Feb. 26, that Gooding, who won an Academy Award in 1997, sexually harassed and assaulted him on Combs’s yacht. Jones’s allegations against Gooding haven’t changed within the complaint. What did change is that Gooding is now named a co-defendant.

🗓️ How did we end up here?

Last month, Jones, a producer on Combs’s 2023 album, filed the explosive lawsuit against Combs and several associates, alleging that Combs forced him to solicit sex workers (including underage ones) and engage in unwelcome sex acts. The producer claimed some of the sex workers were given drugs laced at Combs’s direction, and on one occasion, Jones woke up nude and disoriented in a bed with Combs and two sex workers, believing he had been drugged.

Jones’s lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, also accused Combs of “grooming him to pass him off to his friends.” He claimed one of those friends was Gooding, who allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted him.

The alleged incident happened on Combs’s yacht, which was chartered between December 2022 and January 2023, when Combs brought Gooding into the studio and told him to “get to know” Jones, leaving the two men alone. Jones claimed that Gooding began "touching, groping and fondling his legs, his upper inner thighs near his groin, the small of his back near his buttocks and his shoulders.” Jones said he rejected the advances, but Gooding allegedly persisted until Jones “forcibly pushed him away.” The complaint included screenshots from a video allegedly showing Gooding with his arm around Jones.

Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Sean P. Diddy Combs during Loon's Self-Titled Debut Album Release Party at Show in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sean Combs together in 2013. (Johnny Nunez/WireImage) (WireImage)

The amended lawsuit now lists Gooding as a defendant, along with Combs, Combs’s son Justin, Sean Combs's Love Records, Motown Records and Universal Music Group. A representative for Gooding has not yet responded to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.

Jones — a self-described musical prodigy who taught himself how to play 13 instruments — said he got a call from Combs’s team in September 2022 to produce The Love Album: Off the Grid. He worked with Combs from September 2022 to September 2023, producing nine songs that appeared on the album. Jones said he lived with Combs for months during that period, “spending holidays, birthdays and missing major family events.” During that time, Jones said he also witnessed drug acquisition and use, the displaying and distribution of unregistered illegal firearms and other unnamed rappers consorting with underage girls and sex workers.

Jones amended his complaint, for the second time, on the day Combs’s homes in Miami and Los Angeles were raided by Homeland Security related to an ongoing sex trafficking investigation. Combs was accused of sex trafficking by ex-girlfriend Cassie in October and a Jane Doe in November. Two other women came forward alleging sexual assault in lawsuits.

Sean Combs has maintained his innocence, calling the allegations “fiction.” He settled his lawsuit with Cassie.

⚖️ Gooding’s previous legal drama

The lawsuit notes that Gooding “was a relevant actor who has fallen from grace due to several sexual assault lawsuits and a recent guilty plea for sexual assault.”

Gooding’s last few years have been plagued with legal drama. In 2022, he pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of forcible touching at a New York City nightclub, avoiding jail time. He had been accused of violating three different women at three different Manhattan nightclubs between 2018 and 2019. Prosecutors in the case said 30 women came forward with groping accusations against him.

In June, he reached a last-minute settlement with a woman, identified as Jane Doe, who accused him of raping her in a New York City hotel room in 2013. She filed a civil case against him that was just about to begin jury selection when the deal was struck.

In November, before the New York's Adult Survivors Act expired, Gooding was hit with two sexual assault civil lawsuits. Kelsey Harbert claimed she approached Gooding at a Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in New York City in 2018 to meet him. In front of Gooding’s girlfriend, he reached over and grabbed Harbert’s thigh and breast. Harbert filed a police report within a week of the incident.

The other plaintiff is Jasmine Abbay, a cocktail waitress at LAVO restaurant and nightclub. She was assigned Gooding’s table in 2018 and claimed he forced his tongue into her mouth without her consent when she brought drinks to his table.