T.D. Jakes mentioned briefly in suit against music mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs

Jakes, a Dallas-based megachurch pastor, is not among the defendants in the suit, which include several record labels.

Bishop T.D. Jakes, left, and hip-hop entrepreneur Sean

(RNS) — A lawsuit accusing music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs of sexual harassment, illegal drug activity and sex trafficking cites Bishop T.D. Jakes as someone who the rapper hoped would help improve his image.

The plaintiff is Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, a music producer who the suit alleges has photo and other evidence of Combs’ activities.

Jakes, a Dallas-based megachurch pastor, is not among the defendants in the suit, which include several record labels and actor Cuba Gooding Jr. as well as Combs’ son Justin Dior Combs and chief of staff Kristina Khorram.

Jakes is mentioned once in a lengthy suit that describes Jones as a victim of sexual harassment and assault by the elder Combs. 

The suit, filed in a New York federal court in late March, alleges Jones has “irrefutable evidence” of Combs “detailing how he planned to leverage his relationship with Bishop T.D. Jakes, to soften the impact on his public image of Cassie Ventura’s lawsuit.”

The suit is one of several filed in recent months against Combs, including one by Ventura, an R&B singer who accused him of rape and beatings during their relationship. It comes around the same time that news outlets have reported federal agents have raided the hip-hop mogul’s properties and seized guns and other items.

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“As a heterosexual Christian man, Mr. Jones was uncomfortable with Mr. Combs’ advances and expressed his discomfort to Mr. Combs’ Chief of Staff, Defendant Kristina Khorram,” reads the suit, which also alleges Combs forced Jones to solicit female sex workers and have sex with them in Combs’ Miami home.

Jones, who alleges physical, financial and emotional harm, is seeking monetary and punitive damages and other relief.

Combs’ lawyer Aaron Dyer has declared his client is innocent and “will continue to fight every single day to clear his name.”

Late in 2023, unverified allegations of sexual misconduct at parties hosted by Combs had put Jakes in headlines. In December, a TikTok and YouTube video alleged that Jakes engaged in gay sex at Combs’ parties.

In a Christmas Eve sermon, Jakes appeared to deny those allegations: “I will not use his sacred day and this sacred pulpit to address a lie when I have a chance to preach a truth.”

Representatives of his ministry and businesses — who chose not to comment on the latest mention of Jakes related to Combs — decried the claims as false.

“Recent claims circulating on pockets of social media about Bishop T.D. Jakes are unequivocally false and baseless,” said Jordan A. Hora, executive director of public relations and communications for T.D. Jakes Group, T.D. Jakes Ministries and The Potter’s House, in a statement several months ago.

Derrick Williams, executive vice president of T.D. Jakes Entertainment, added a statement related specifically to Jakes’ connections to Combs, the founder of Revolt Media & TV, a Black-owned media company that announced in 2021 it would feature a sermon series hosted by Jakes.

Williams described how he and Jakes had stopped by a birthday celebration for Combs, who has resigned as chair of Revolt.

“We both greeted the family, Bishop Jakes recorded a brief celebratory birthday video and left immediately to take our other scheduled meetings,” Williams said. “Any accusation to the contrary is wholly unsubstantiated, unverified and false.”

In late January, NBC News reported that Jakes had been targeted by misinformation generated through artificial intelligence. It stated that “videos have implicated figures like Jakes in the allegations against Combs without evidence and used manipulated media to depict the celebrities engaging in lewd acts and exaggerated displays of emotion in video thumbnails.”

The news outlet reviewed YouTube channels “posting what appears to be AI-generated fake news content about Black celebrities” and said some videos had revenue-earning ads for their creators.

“YouTube channels relying on what appears to be at least partly AI-generated content have only continued to churn out shocking, false narratives about Jakes, Combs and others,” it said.

RELATED: Bishop T.D. Jakes helps launch online hub to aid faith leaders with mental health tools

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