When Sean Combs Was ‘Living the American Dream’

Long before he was accused of sexual misconduct in a series of lawsuits, and long before federal agents in military gear raided his homes in Miami and Los Angeles, Sean Combs was unforgivable.

That was the name he had selected for his first fragrance, which he sold through a partnership with Estée Lauder.

It was promoted as a scent that “exudes the energy, sexiness and elegance of Sean Combs,” and he was supposed to give it a publicity boost in April 2006 by ringing the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange alongside William Lauder, the Estée Lauder chief executive, and Terry Lundgren, the head of Federated Department Stores.

But Mr. Combs didn’t arrive in time for the opening of the market, saying he had been stuck in traffic. So his fellow business titans did the honors without him.

By then, Mr. Combs had successfully made the transition from Puff Daddy to the world’s most successful hip-hop mogul.

Soon after the launch of his cologne, Unforgiven, Mr. Combs appeared at the New York Stock Exchange with, from left to right: Todd Kahn, an executive at Sean John; John Demsey, the president of Sean John Fragrances; John Thain, the head of the N.Y.S.E.; Terry Lundgren, the chief executive of Federated Department Stores; and William Lauder, the chief executive of Estée Lauder.Credit…Seth Wenig/Reuters

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