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Ex-Motown Exec Blasts Lil Rod’s ‘RICO Enterprise’ Allegations, Denies She Agreed to Testify Against Embattled Mogul

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Apr. 1 2024, Published 1:55 p.m. ET

One of the people accused of helping Sean “Diddy” Combs run a “RICO enterprise” has responded to Lil Rod‘s $30 million lawsuit. In documents obtained by RadarOnline.com, former Motown Records CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam claimed she’s “never attended” any party at his Miami or New York homes, contrary to the music producer’s allegations that she was there when he allegedly drugged sex workers and underage girls.

As this outlet reported, Lil Rod — whose real name is Rodney Jones filed the lawsuit in U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York against Diddy, his son, Justin, 30; his chief of staff, Kristina Khorram; Universal Music Group CEO Sir Lucian Grainge; and Habtemariam.

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Lil Rod produced several songs on Diddy’s 2023 album, The Love Album: Off the Grid, and claimed that Habtemariam, Grainge, Motown Records, Love Records, and Universal Music Group “failed to adequately monitor, warn, or supervise” Diddy, Justin, and his chief of staff’s alleged actions.

“Contrary to the allegations of the First Amended Complaint regarding my alleged presence at Mr. Combs’ homes in Miami and New York at alleged ‘parties’ at which underage girls and sex workers were present and being drugged, I have never visited either of those homes, and I have never attended any ‘party’ at any of Mr. Combs’ homes (other than a single black-tie event in Los Angeles on June 26, 2022 celebrating his “lifetime achievement” award from BET),” Habtemariam’s documents filed on Monday read.

She said the only property of Diddy’s that she visited was the one in Los Angeles.

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According to Habtemariam, she’s only been to Diddy’s LA residence four times, with three of those occasions being “meetings in connection with the license agreement between Motown Records and Love Records, Inc.” The former Motown executive said those meetings were in 2022 and happened “in the home studio or an outdoor patio.”

“I also visited his property for the party in Mr. Combs’ backyard celebrating his lifetime achievement award from BET,” she admitted.

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Habtemariam scoffed that “there were no underage girls or sex workers” present at any of those meetings. She also insisted that Lil Rod “would not have been” at the BET party in late June 2022. “I can state without any hesitation, I observed no underage girls, sex workers or drug use at the party,” she stated.

The ex-record boss noted that she left Motown Records in November 2022 and has “no recollection of ever having met Rodney Jones.”

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“I should have never been named as a defendant in this lawsuit,” she charged.

“Being falsely accused of criminal conduct is deeply upsetting to me. I did no wrong. I never saw or participated in any alleged racketeering enterprise, and I never saw, aided or abetted or tried to conceal any sex trafficking activity. I did not distribute cash to Mr. Combs or anyone else.”

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Habtemariam also claimed that Lil Rod’s lawyer, Tyrone Blackburn, “approached me and proposed to dismiss me from this case if I would provide a declaration.” But she said the alleged declaration he sent her “was materially false, and I would not and could not sign it.”

She also insisted that she did not agree to testify against Diddy as it was claimed.

“I am informed and believe that Mr. Blackburn has falsely represented to various social media sites and other media outlets that I agreed to ‘testify against’ Mr. Combs. This is completely untrue,” she stated.

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“I have no personal knowledge of any alleged wrongdoing by Mr. Combs and there is nothing I could testify to that would be against his interest. I have never indicated, in the declaration or otherwise, that I have any intention of testifying ‘against’ Mr. Combs or otherwise testifying on behalf of Plaintiff.”

Diddy’s been sued by several individuals — including his ex, singer Cassie — for various sex crimes. He’s also being probed in a federal investigation into allegations of sex trafficking, with agents raiding his homes in Miami and L.A. last week.

Diddy has not been charged with any crimes. He’s denied the allegations against him.

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