What's Going on With Diplo? A Look at the Disturbing Allegations Against the DJ

Distractify Staff - Author
By

Sep. 12 2023, Updated 1:34 p.m. ET

diplo performing governors ball
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Diplo has faced allegations of grooming and misconduct.
  • Influencer Shelly Auguste claimed Diplo groomed her, and sued him for sexual battery in 2020.
  • There were also rumors that Diplo had allegedly groomed TikTok star Quenlin Blackwell.
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DJ and record producer Diplo (real name: Thomas Wesley Pentz) is no stranger to controversy regarding his rumored relationships with younger women.

Below, we take a look at some of the allegations against the Major Lazer member — including the legal battles with influencer Shelly Auguste and the rumors involving him and TikTok star Quenlin Blackwell.

diplo green jacket and green striped shirt
Source: Getty Images
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An influencer named Shelly Auguste claimed that Diplo groomed her.

In October 2020, influencer Shelly Auguste sued Diplo for sexual battery, fraud, and defamation. Amid her claims that Diplo had groomed her as a teen, the DJ went on to later sue Shelly back for stalking, defamation, and assault.

In August 2023, amid their legal battle, Shelly was interviewed on Sloan Hooks's Let's Get Into It podcast, with the intention to share more of her story after being "silenced" for two years, as she claimed.

She said she'd started talking to Diplo in 2014 and had lost her virginity to him in 2019 when he was 41 and she was 22, and that he'd given her chlamydia despite claiming he got "tested as much as a porn star." She also reiterated more claims from her lawsuit that he'd allegedly recorded her during sex without her consent and had sent her recordings of himself having sex with others.

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She also claimed that Diplo and his lawyers use manipulation tactics to keep other young women from suing him for misconduct.

When the gossip account The Tea Talk posted about this podcast interview on Instagram, someone commented: "Are we not forgetting that man groomed Quen Blackwell?"

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What happened between Diplo and Quenlin Blackwell?

In October 2020, then-19-year-old TikTok star Quenlin Blackwell revealed that she was currently living with the then-41-year-old DJ, and fans seemed concerned about their age difference.

"I live with Diplo right now, and he fully supports my endeavors," she said in a statement at the time that would go viral. Citing their 22-year age difference, many were concerned that the two had begun a romantic relationship.

Quenlin Blackwell
Source: instagram

Quenlin Blackwell

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"I'm an adult," Quenlin said on Twitter at the time, slamming the rumors. "I'm not being groomed. Platonic relationships exist. I've been living here for over a year..... I'd rather break both of my legs and be forced to walk than pursue Diplo romantically and he'd rather choke."

"He's barely in LA bc he's so busy," she continued. "Diplo has given me the opportunity and the security to create. Diplo and his team are my mentors in LA and they are my safety net. Diplo and his team have saved me numerous times from the weirdos in LA. My parents trust him. I trust him. Y'all are making me feel icky. Diplo is my LA dad ... nothing more."

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After his name was trending during the weekend of Oct. 24, 2020, Diplo addressed the allegations. "OK so I rent one of my properties to @quenblackwell," he wrote on Twitter at the time, tagging the TikTok star. "Her social media is sarcastic and chaotic and I can see you can get a twisted idea but there is nothing but a friendship between us," the Grammy winner said.

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"As a landlord I don't really consider age or race as a qualification," he added. "U just gotta pay security deposit. And don't poke holes in the walls or ruin my carpet."

When fans asked why he couldn't have just "bought her an apartment," the father-of-three responded: "I got my own kids to take care of and mortgages to pay."

A couple years later, however, in 2022, Quen made some comments that caused concern among fans. When asked about new music, she told her followers in a video post on social media (per Centennial World):

“This producer told me to come out here when I was 17, and I came out here when I was 18, and I didn’t know what I was coming out here for really. But then I started making music and then a whole bunch of producers were like, ‘wait, this is really good music’ so I stopped working on myself at all."

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“I love my music,” she continued. “My music’s been a journal to me through all the bulls--t I’ve dealt with from someone older like, ‘wanting to help me’ but essentially just like, seeing a young creative would [lighten them] and wanting to own them and wanting to have them a part of your crew.”

“So when I wake up out of the fog and haze from like, living over there and living with these producers and s--t, I like, have all this music,” she said, adding: “I’ve got release dates since 2020 and nothing has been released. It’s April of 2022, I’m 21 now, like, I want to release music I just don’t know how to and I feel lost."

Though she didn't mention Diplo by name, some fans were reminded of the prior rumors about the two.

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Some people pointed out other instances of alleged inappropriate behavior from Diplo.

Amid the rumors about Quen and Diplo, some people took to social media at the time to uncover alleged receipts of instances when the DJ had been inappropriate. "If Diplo truly isn't doing anything weird with Quen specifically then that's great," one person wrote, "but it doesn't change the fact that Diplo has a long history of predatory behavior."

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The Twitter user added that "numerous black women have come out and said how Diplo groomed and fetishized them from a young age."

Meanwhile, onlookers pointed to an old tweet dating back to June of 2010 when the music producer wrote: "girls born in the '90s I have to stop sleepin with u," which many deemed problematic considering he was in his 30s while the women he's referring to had just turned 20.

Others dug up a 2017 tweet, when Diplo said he'd "low key sent my CV for R Kelly sex cult membership."

Yikes.

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