Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, whose homes were searched Monday, has a long history in Atlanta

FILE - Music mogul and entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs arrives at the Billboard Music Awards, May 15, 2022, in Las Vegas. Two properties belonging to Combs’ in Los Angeles and Miami were searched Monday, March 25, 2024, by federal Homeland Security Investigations agents and other law enforcement as part of an ongoing sex trafficking investigation, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

FILE - Music mogul and entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs arrives at the Billboard Music Awards, May 15, 2022, in Las Vegas. Two properties belonging to Combs’ in Los Angeles and Miami were searched Monday, March 25, 2024, by federal Homeland Security Investigations agents and other law enforcement as part of an ongoing sex trafficking investigation, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Homes owned by music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs in Los Angeles and Miami were searched by federal Homeland Security Investigations agents and other law enforcement on Monday. Two law enforcement officials told the Associated Press that the searches were part of an ongoing sex trafficking investigation by federal authorities in New York.

Combs, the influential music producer who founded Bad Bay Records in 1993, has many ties to Atlanta.

In 2019, he was honored with the Phoenix Award, Atlanta’s highest civilian honor.

“Sean Combs has been a staple in the Atlanta community for more than three decades. As a child, he spent every summer here with his aunt and credits Atlanta for helping him to cultivate his creative talents,” the mayor’s spokesman Michael Smith said at the time.

In 1993, Combs directed OutKast’s debut music video for “Player’s Ball.”

For 14 years, Combs owned the Buckhead restaurant Justin’s at 2200 Peachtree Road. It closed in 2012 and is now home to Emory Healthcare’s Emory at Peachtree Hills.

Justin's, the Buckhead restaurant formerly owned by Sean “Diddy” Combs, is seen after it closed and before it was turned into Emory at Peachtree Hills. (BECCA GODWIN / BECCA.GODWIN@AJC.COM

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The eatery helped launch the careers of culinary specialists like Rob Gayle of Chef Rob’s Upscale Lounge, Lorenzo Wyche of Lorenzo Wyche Restaurants and the Mayor’s Office of Film, Entertainment and Culture’s first Manager of Nightlife and Culture Michael Paul.

The Grammy-winning artist hosted celebrations like his stepson Quincy Brown’s birthday bash at The Velvet Room for a taping of MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16″ in 2008, and Quality Control Music co-founder Pierre “Pee” Thomas’ black-tie birthday party at The Fox Theatre 14 years later.

Revolt World, a massive event in Atlanta focused on all things hip-hop culture, most recently took place in September 2023. The event is hosted by Combs’ Black-focused multi-platform media company called Revolt.

FILE - In this July 26, 2013, file photo, Sean "Diddy" Combs of Revolt TV waits to take the stage for a news conference about the new channel during the Television Critics Association summer press tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, Calif. It was fitting that the rap impresario Combs opened his new Revolt TV music channel Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, on the steps of the Notorious B.I.G.'s old home, introducing a video for the late artist's 1994 song, "Juicy." (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

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Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

When Combs launched Our Fair Share, his relief effort for minority-owned small businesses and nonprofits to survive COVID-19, in 2020, he partnered with Carver State Bank, one of the country’s oldest Black-owned banks located in Savannah, as one of the program’s leading institutions to assist applicants.

Empower Global, Combs’ e-commerce platform that markets products and services from Black vendors and entrepreneurs, launched in 2021 in Atlanta. The venture’s website was developed and designed by Tech Sparq, a Black-owned company headquartered on Concourse Parkway.

During Invest Fest, a financial empowerment summit and live event held at Georgia World Congress Center, in August 2023, he presented founders Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings with a $1 million gift to their financial literacy program, Earn Your Leisure. He gave another $1 million gift to Jackson State University’s football team at Georgia State’s Center Parc Stadium later that day.

In 2003, he bought a seven-bedroom, 11-bath mansion on slightly more than 7 acres on Spalding Drive in Dunwoody. Combs paid $2.6 million for the European-style residence but later sold the property. According to recent tax records, he still owns 18 acres of land in Fayetteville.

Combs was no stranger to controversy in Atlanta. In November 2003, his bodyguard, Anthony “Wolf” Jones, was shot and killed outside of a party hosted by Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def label at Chaos nightclub in Buckhead.

In a recent legal challenge, the producer and executive was sued by Casandra “Cassie” Ventura, a singer once signed to his Bad Boy recording label and his former girlfriend, for sexual assault and sex trafficking. The “Me and U” artist alleged in court reports that Combs broke into her home, raped, physically abused and forced her to have sex with other men while he recorded it.

Cassie, left, and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs attend the unveiling of Kanye West's Fall-Winter, ready-to-wear 2013 fashion collection, during Paris Fashion Week, Tuesday, March 6, 2012.

Credit: AP

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Credit: AP

Combs settled the suit out-of-court the following day but the “I’ll Be Missing You” rapper was sued by three more women and one man for ongoing sexual harassment, drugging, threatening, and sex trafficking.

Dawn Montgomery is an Atlanta journalist and former co-host of “Monuments to Me,” a Revolt podcast described on the media company’s website as a show which “celebrates every aspect of Black women in a world that tries to ignore or destroy them.” In November 2023, Montgomery announced on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that she would not return to the podcast for its third season, in solidarity with Cassie and those accusing Combs of sexual misconduct.

AJC staffers Shane Harrison and Mike Jordan contributed to this story.