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Diplo's Canadian Festival Dates Continue Amid New ‘Revenge Porn’ Lawsuit

The producer is facing a new lawsuit for allegedly recording and distributing intimate photos and videos without consent, but it hasn’t affected his ongoing tour dates in Canada including an upcoming show at Calgary Stampede's Badlands festival.

Diplo

Diplo

Aidan Cullen

Diplo is playing a series of shows in Canada while facing serious legal accusations in the United States for sexual misconduct.

In a new lawsuit filed June 27, a woman identified as Jane Doe alleges the Grammy-winning music producer, born Thomas Wesley Pentz, recorded and distributed intimate photos and videos of her without consent.


In the weeks following Doe’s lawsuit, the latest in a series of sexual misconduct allegations against the entertainment star, Diplo’s tour has continued, including a string of prominent slots at Canadian festivals.

On June 30, he performed at Toronto’s Electric Island music festival. On July 1, he played at Montreal’s Piknic Électronik music festival, followed by a performance this past Friday (July 5) at FVDED in the Park in Surrey, BC. His performances have been well attended, with many on social media posting videos of excited crowds.

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Tonight (July 8), he is scheduled to play at Calgary’s Badlands music festival as part of the Calgary Stampede under his country alter ego, Thomas Wesley.

The new lawsuit alleges that in April 2016, when the woman was 21 (Diplo would have been 37), the two began communicating through Snapchat. They regularly exchanged pornographic images, alleges the lawsuit, before eventually meeting in June 2016, and beginning a sexual relationship.

The lawsuit says their intimate relationship ended in October 2023, when the woman discovered Diplo had nonconsensually recorded the two of them having sex, and that he distributed images and videos to third parties through text message and Snapchat. The lawsuit notes the woman occasionally allowed him to make recordings, but that she reiterated he was only to record with her explicit consent, and that she did not want the content distributed.

The lawsuit says an arrest warrant for Diplo was issued in New York last November, after the woman reported Diplo to the New York Police Department. In an email to Billboard Canada, Diplo’s lawyers denied that an arrest warrant was issued. A spokesperson for the NYPD told Billboard Canada, “There is a criminal complaint on file for unlawful dissemination for a suspect with the name of Thomas Pentz which is currently being investigated by NYPD detectives.”

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The lawsuit claims Diplo “used social media, his business entities, and his platform as a well-known music artist to lure, entice, and solicit women for the ultimate goal of engaging in sexual activity with them and/or recording that sexual activity without their consent.”

Last August, a separate police report was filed in Los Angeles by Shelly Auguste, a woman who has been involved in ongoing legal disputes with Diplo since 2020. She is currently suing Diplo for sexual battery, gender violence, intentional intrusion into private affairs, battery, assault, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraud, with a civil trial scheduled for next year.

Diplo is also currently suing Auguste, for stalking, trespassing, and distributing private materials. In September 2022, an arbitrator determined that several of Auguste’s social media posts, which included Taylor Swift lyrics and a repost of a Rihanna tweet, constituted breaches of a mutual non-disparagement agreement, resulting in a $1.2 million monetary award to Diplo.

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In a statement sent to Billboard Canada, Diplo’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman, said the following:

“In every case where there has been an allegation of improper conduct made against Wes, the result has been either an immediate dismissal of a bogus lawsuit coupled with an apology, a court-ordered award for Wes in excess of $1.2 million, or the slow demise of an obvious shakedown attempt that has gone absolutely nowhere. Time and again, Wes has been targeted by a group of untrustworthy individuals and their unscrupulous lawyers, cobbling together falsehoods in search of a meritless payday. This seems to be just more of the same – for example, no arrest warrant has ever been issued, in spite of what this complaint alleged – which is why we have no reason to believe that it will end any differently than all the others.”

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Diplo also seemed to dispute the new allegations in an Instagram post on June 29, writing in a caption, “Don’t believe what you read in the news.”

Amid several cases before the courts, Diplo’s public image appears mostly untarnished. He recently performed with Madonna, produced a track for Kylie Minogue and Orville Peck, among others, released a collaboration with country artist Maren Morris, and officiated a wedding at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. In 2023, he performed on all seven continents. At last year’s Super Bowl, he was photographed with California governor Gavin Newsom.

A prolific producer for two decades, with 6.2 million Instagram followers and a roster of collaborators including Beyoncé and Justin Bieber, his influence remains significant, with 34.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone.

The court cases were covered in prominent music media including Billboard, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone, but appear not to have affected bookings for Canadian festival dates or his show at the Calgary Stampede tonight.

Concert-goer Wilson Sy says he was unaware of the allegations regarding Diplo, and hadn’t heard about the new lawsuit when he decided to attend Toronto’s Electric Island on June 30. According to Sy, the atmosphere was “positive” and “electric,” with attendees of Diplo’s set dancing shoulder-to-shoulder. He didn’t hear anyone mention the lawsuit. “The legal news wasn’t brought up,” he says. “Everyone was just having fun and enjoying themselves.” Sy says whether he’ll remain a fan of Diplo depends on how the cases develop. “I guess I’d like to see how the story plays out…We just have to wait and see what happens with him.”

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A man who attended Montreal’s Piknic Électronik on July 1 said that like Sy, he hadn’t heard about the allegations. “No one mentioned the lawsuit while I was there,” he says. “It seemed to me that the vast majority of people were just there to dance, drink and be merry on a holiday day off.” (He asked to not be identified.)

Billboard Canada sent requests for comment to the organizers of Electric Island, FVDED in the Park and Badlands. Live Nation, Blueprint and Platform Entertainment have not yet responded.

A spokesperson for Piknic Électronik sent the following statement:

"Our organization condemns any act of intimidation, aggression of any kind, and would never encourage abusive behaviour, whether it comes from artists, industry players, or the public. Fundamental values of respect, kindness, and inclusion have been an integral part of who we are since our inception. Regarding Diplo, allegations have been made, and we will closely monitor the situation's development."

The new lawsuit sheds light on past allegations against Diplo, including by rapper Azealia Banks, who is quoted in the lawsuit as saying on a podcast that “Diplo definitely found me on f-ing Myspace. I always give him credit for f-ing launching my career off, but yeah, I had to give him some teenage [vagina] to do it. He’s always been preying on young ethnic girls.”

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It goes on to reference a woman named Quen Blackwell, who, then 19, according to the lawsuit, explained on TikTok that she was living at the home of Diplo, who the lawsuit says was 42 at the time.

An additional accusation is mentioned in the lawsuit, regarding an alleged assault in Las Vegas in 2019. From the lawsuit: “The alleged victim stated that she had been invited to an afterparty at one of Diplo’s concerts in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he plied her with marijuana and alcohol. Soon after, Diplo allegedly forced the woman into his hotel room where he did not let her leave until she performed oral sex on him.” The woman filed a lawsuit against him in 2021, but withdrew it shortly after.

Meanwhile, Diplo's tour continues. He performs at Badlands in Calgary tonight (July 8) before playing dates across the U.S. and Europe.

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