If AllHipHop is correct, Sean “Diddy” Combs is facing another legal battle. According to the outlet, an inmate at Collins Correctional Facility claims that the Bad Boy Music mogul infringed on his intellectual property rights with the 2023 song “Act Bad.” And AllHipHop says he’s suing.
However, HipHopDx reported that it did “an extensive court records search, and no legal documentation has been found to be filed with any federal court.”
Suit or No Suit?
According to AllHipHop, they have seen such documents, and they reveal that Charles Kenyatta Jr., presently serving ten years since 2022 for drug trafficking, is suing Combs for $10 million over the song. Kenyatta Jr., a rapper who performed under the name Charlie Cee, asserts ownership of the trademark for the song title. Court papers also claim that Diddy’s lawyer allegedly ignored emails from Kenyatta’s lawyer after mentioning an agreement regarding the “Act Bad” trademark.
HipHopDx did find that the United States Patent & Trademark Office “confirmed that the wordmark for ‘Act Bad’ has been filed by Kenyatta Jr. as of November 23, 2021. ‘Act Bad,’ as a wordmark, is live and registered, while ‘Act Bad Entertainment,’” ‘ which has also been filed for ownership by Kenyatta Jr. as of September 18, 2021, is still pending and awaiting examination by USPTO official.”
The wordmark encompasses clothing goods, including beanies and sweatshirts.
AllHipHop reported that Diddy went ahead and, on June 7, 2023, released the song and video “Act Bad,” featuring himself, City Girls, JT, and Fabolous, without Kenyatta’s permission, so Kenyatta is now suing. Kenyatta’s name is not associated with the song or video, nor does the imprisoned rapper explain how he connected with Diddy. Still, AllHipHop reported the court docs state, “The Certificate of Engagement and release Bad Boy Part 4 LLC contract was made and signed without the consent, assent or knowledge of Charles Kenyatta Jr.”
It continues, “Plaintiff was entered into a contract with Sean Combs, owner of Bad Boy Part 4 LLC, without consent. The contract was sent to Plaintiff’s Entertainment Lawyer Andrew Covington on June 1, 2023. The Plaintiff’s lawyer contacted defendant Sean Combs’ Lawyer Pamela Gurley and was told the contract was agreed by both parties. After that, Defendant Sean Comb’s lawyer stopped answering emails from Plaintiff’s Lawyer Andrew Covington.” Problem was Kenyatta’s lawyers say he never signed a contract, nor did his power of attorney.
Combs produced the song “Act Bad” and intended to sell associated merchandise, offering Kenyatta Jr. a portion of the profits, AllHipHop reported.
“Sean Combs made a song called ‘ACT BAD’ and wanted to [sell] Act Bad merchandise, a percentage of the net profits for recorded song and music video, also a percentage of merchandise T-shirts, hats, etc.” the supposed court documents explained.
Since there is contradicting reporting surrounding this alleged lawsuit, we’ll have to see what — if anything — plays out in court.
Diddy’s Other Legal Woes
On November 16, 2023, the lawsuit filed by Cassie where she was seeking $30 million in damages from the billionaire mogul was settled privately and quickly one day later. He was soon hit with other similar lawsuits. Diddy released a statement denying the allegations and expressed “enough is enough” on his Instagram page.
Since then, Diddy has lost the confidence of both his corporate sponsors and relationships, and had to step down as chairman of his media brand, Revolt TV.
He also withdrew his lawsuit against Diageo, the liquor company he partnered with to distribute DeLeon tequila and sponsor Cîroc vodka.