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Usher says he saw ‘very curious things’ when he lived with Diddy for a year at 13 

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By Ilana Kaplan l PEOPLE


A 2016 interview with Usher has resurfaced amid the raids on Sean “Diddy” Combs’ homes earlier this week.

The “U Got It Bad” musician, 45, appeared on The Howard Stern Show in 2016 where he opened up about his time living with Diddy for a year when he was 13 years old.

After Howard Stern wondered if it was L.A. Reid’s idea for Usher to live with the Bad Boy Records founder, 54, the R&B star said there were “very curious things taking place” during his time residing with Diddy in New York City.

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ Homes Raided by Federal Law Enforcement amid Sex Trafficking Lawsuits

“I got a chance to see some things,” Usher told Stern, 70, adding: “I went there to see the lifestyle — and I saw it.”

He continued: “I don’t know if I could indulge and understand what I was even looking at. It was pretty wild.”

Usher then recalled that there were famous artists like Biggie Smalls, Lil’ Kim, Craig Mack, Faith Evans and Mary J. Blige that were also hanging around at the time.

When asked if he was staying up until 4 a.m. partying with Diddy and his entourage, the “Yeah!” performer said he “could” and “actually stayed up longer than them.”

He described the experience as “pretty crazy.”

Asked if he would ever send his children to “Puffy camp,” Usher declared: “Hell, no.”

In February, he also opened up to PEOPLE about his experiences at Diddy’s “Flavor Camp.”

“I can remember Outkast making their first records and being able to hear Rico [Wade] work on these songs, literally sleeping in this man’s living room, being in the dungeon, just kind of being around and just trying to figure out who’s who,” he recalled.

Usher attends Usher’s New Look presents “2023 Disruptivator Summit: Be Your Own Superhero” on July 19, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia

Usher said that it wasn’t just about the music, but “the energy” and the hip-hop artists “were teaching me and showing me how to act and how to present myself.”

He also reminisced about meeting Diddy who first invited him to come to New York to work on music.

“I got a tutor, went to New York City, and he began to show me the ropes,” Usher told PEOPLE. “Some of the most valuable lessons I could ever learn as an entrepreneur were picked up when I spent that time in New York with him, this unwavering desire to create and make certain that your creative ideas executed.”

He continued: “I saw him in the real time working it out, him building something from nothing, him understanding how culture and collaboration could build careers. Being able to see that, that’s what I got.”

He added that he was “privy to” experiencing the making of The Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 album Ready to Die. Usher was “watching it in real time, but he didn’t understand “the value of what I was getting in that time.”

In 2004, the eight-time Grammy winner told Rolling Stone that the “I’ll Be Missing You” artist introduced him to “a totally different set of s— — sex, specifically.”

“Sex is so hot in the industry, man,” he explained. ‘There was always girls around. You’d open a door and see somebody doing it, or several people in a room having an orgy. You never knew what was going to happen.”

On Monday, Diddy’s properties in Los Angeles and Miami were raided by federal agents, Homeland Security Investigations confirmed to PEOPLE.

“Earlier today, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York executed law enforcement actions as part of an ongoing investigation, with assistance from HSI Los Angeles, HSI Miami, and our local law enforcement partners. We will provide further information as it becomes available,” a Homeland Security Investigations representative told PEOPLE in a statement.

These raids took place amid sex trafficking allegations in two lawsuits.

TMZ reported that federal cops arrived at the rapper’s L.A. home, with helicopters above the property, while video from FOX11 showed Diddy’s sons Justin Combs, 30, and Christian ‘King’ Combs, 25, in handcuffs outside of their Beverly Hills home.

Combs’ lawyer released a statement condemning the raids on Tuesday evening.

“There was a gross overuse of military-level force as search warrants were executed at Mr. Combs’ residences,” said attorney Aaron Dyer in a statement to PEOPLE. “There is no excuse for the excessive show of force and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way his children and employees were treated.”

“This unprecedented ambush — paired with an advanced, coordinated media presence — leads to a premature rush to judgment of Mr. Combs and is nothing more than a witch hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits,” added Dyer.

The statement concluded, “There has been no finding of criminal or civil liability with any of these allegations. Mr. Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name.”