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The video of Diddy kicking singer Cassie and all of the allegations in opposition to him, defined


With a violent 2016 surveillance video made public on Friday exhibiting rapper-mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs kicking, dragging, and throwing an object at his then-girlfriend Cassie Ventura within the hallways of a luxurious lodge, the general public reckoning dealing with Diddy is reaching a brand new boiling level.

The graphic video, obtained and printed by CNN, appeared to substantiate some particulars alleged in Ventura’s November lawsuit in opposition to Combs. In line with CNN, the footage was filmed on March 5, 2016, at a now-shuttered InterContinental lodge in Los Angeles.

The tape reveals Ventura, a singer who performs beneath the title Cassie, strolling down a hallway towards elevators, and Combs operating after her in a towel. He throws her to the bottom and repeatedly kicks her, after which makes an attempt to tug her down the hallway, presumably again to their room, although she frees herself. Later, he throws a vase at Ventura.

On Sunday, Combs posted a minute-long apology on Instagram acknowledging that it was him captured on the footage. “My conduct on that video is inexcusable,” he stated. “I take full accountability for my actions in that video. I used to be disgusted then after I did it, and I’m disgusted now.” He stated he sought remedy and rehab however didn’t point out Ventura particularly.

In her lawsuit, Ventura, who dated Combs and was signed to his label, alleged that he abused her, urged her to have intercourse with male intercourse staff whereas he filmed, and that he later raped her. That lawsuit included allegations of a 2016 incident on the InterContinental lodge.

In a press release on the time of the go well with, Combs’s legal professional responded that, “Ms. Ventura has now resorted to submitting a lawsuit riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aiming to tarnish Mr. Combs’s popularity and searching for a payday.” However the publication of the video this week, and Combs’s subsequent apology, provides a layer of corroboration to no less than a few of the accusations made in opposition to the rapper.

Meredith Firetog, a companion within the agency Wigdor LLP, which represents Ventura, responded to Diddy’s apology video this weekend in a press release that learn, partly: “Combs’ most up-to-date assertion is extra about himself than the many individuals he has damage … That he was solely compelled to ‘apologize’ as soon as his repeated denials have been confirmed false reveals his pathetic desperation, and nobody shall be swayed by his disingenuous phrases.”

Ventura’s case, settled sooner or later after it was filed, set off a torrent of comparable lawsuits, a number of of which embrace brutal and disturbing particulars. Plaintiffs state that Diddy — whose beginning title is Sean Combs and who has additionally publicly passed by Puff Daddy, Puffy, and Love — raped them and, in some instances, trafficked them by coercing them to interact in intercourse with different males. Collectively, the instances have redirected public consideration towards longstanding allegations of violence in opposition to Combs, main some manufacturers to chop ties with him and Hulu to scrap his upcoming actuality present.

Hypothesis across the accusations escalated as houses in Los Angeles and Miami Seashore linked to Diddy have been raided by federal authorities, who revealed that the raids have been linked to an ongoing investigation into intercourse trafficking allegations.

Combs has denied the allegations, saying in a December assertion, “I didn’t do any of the terrible issues being alleged. I’ll struggle for my title, my household and for the reality.”

Particularly within the Nineteen Nineties and 2000s, Diddy was a determine of monumental energy, not simply in hip-hop however within the enterprise and leisure worlds writ giant. In latest months, nonetheless, a number of folks have sued him, saying he used that affect and wealth to sexually victimize and, in some instances, visitors them, whereas avoiding penalties for many years.

The instances have captured the general public’s consideration partly as a result of Combs was such an influential govt and gatekeeper in music and trend, but one who had lengthy been the topic of allegations of violence, together with arrests. They’re among the many first main allegations in years in opposition to a significant determine within the music trade, which many really feel has did not reckon with abuses of energy, even on the peak of the Me Too motion. Combs is only one of many highly effective males who’ve evaded scrutiny however whose alleged previous conduct is being revisited with recent and extra crucial eyes — in some instances due to the landmark New York legal guidelines which have allowed folks alleging sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits previous the time interval specified by the statute of limitations.

Certainly, Combs is now drawing comparisons to R. Kelly, with frequent critic 50 Cent saying that he’ll produce a collection about Combs within the fashion of the bombshell docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, with the proceeds going to assault survivors.

Dream Hampton, producer of Surviving R. Kelly, advised the Instances late final 12 months that an accounting was arriving for the Unhealthy Boy founder. “Puff is finished,” she stated.

The fits in opposition to Combs additionally present that regardless of latest backlash, the Me Too motion and the authorized and cultural adjustments that got here with it have had a permanent impression. Even when allegations of sexual assault and harassment don’t make each day headlines the best way they did in 2017, the reckoning is ongoing — and no trade is prone to stay immune without end.

Diddy constructed an empire throughout a number of companies

Combs is a producer and rapper who rose to be an influential determine throughout music, media, and trend. He began Unhealthy Boy Information in New York in 1993, when he was in his early 20s, and shortly signed Infamous B.I.G., whose two albums helped outline New York hip-hop in that period. Unhealthy Boy grew right into a multimillion-dollar enterprise, and Combs produced iconic ’90s acts from Jodeci to Mary J. Blige. When Biggie was killed in 1997, Combs launched a Grammy-winning tribute, “I’ll Be Lacking You,” which “helped inaugurate a business increase in hip-hop that lasted till the tip of the nineties,” in accordance with Michael Specter of the New Yorker.

Combs was additionally one of many first to mix the worlds of hip-hop, enterprise, and luxurious. His trend label, Sean John, based in 1998, grew to become recognized for high-end menswear. He promoted manufacturers of vodka and tequila and hosted unique white events within the Hamptons with visitors like Martha Stewart. Although not as central a determine as he was within the ’90s, Combs stays a wealthy and well-connected movie star: Inside a span of weeks final fall, he held a joint album launch and party attended by stars similar to Naomi Campbell and Janet Jackson, carried out for a sold-out crowd in London, and appeared on the homecoming celebration for his alma mater, Howard College, the place he made a shock $1 million donation.

Diddy performs onstage wearing black clothes, a white jacket, and sunglasses. A Bad Boy Entertainment logo is projected on the wall behind him.

Diddy pictured at a efficiency in London in November.
Samir Hussein/Getty Photographs for Sean “Diddy” Combs

As Combs constructed his empire, nonetheless, he was accused of a number of acts of violence. In 1999, he was arrested for beating one other govt with a chair, a telephone, and a champagne bottle; he needed to pay a positive and take an anger administration class, in accordance with the New Yorker. The identical 12 months, he was concerned in a taking pictures at a membership in Manhattan, the place he was attending a celebration along with his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez; witnesses stated they noticed him with a gun, however he was finally acquitted after a public, much-watched trial.

He has additionally been accused of threats and violence in opposition to girls. In a 2019 interview, for instance, his ex-girlfriend Gina Huynh stated he had thrown a shoe at her and dragged her by the hair. However these experiences haven’t obtained mainstream public consideration — till now.

Singer Cassie filed go well with in opposition to Diddy in November

In November, Cassie, whose actual title is Casandra Ventura, sued Combs, alleging sexual assault and intercourse trafficking. Within the go well with, first reported by the New York Instances, Ventura stated she had skilled years of abuse from Combs, beginning quickly after she met him in 2005, when she was 19. She stated that he beat her repeatedly, at one level kicking her within the face, and that later, in 2018, he raped her. She additionally stated he trafficked her by coercing her to have intercourse with intercourse staff in several cities whereas he filmed and masturbated. She tried to delete the pictures and movies afterward, however Combs retained entry, she stated within the go well with, at one level making her watch a video she thought she had deleted.

Ventura’s go well with additionally stated that Combs and his associates used his energy and wealth to intimidate her into silence and compliance, along with his staff threatening to break her music profession if she spoke out in opposition to him. In a single notably stunning element, Ventura stated Combs threatened to explode the rapper Child Cudi’s automotive as a result of Cudi and Ventura have been relationship; the automotive later exploded. “That is all true,” a spokesperson for Child Cudi advised the Instances of the automotive exploding.

Cassie smiles in front of signage for VH1’s “Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms” event.

Singer Cassie, pictured in 2018 in Los Angeles, sued Combs in a case made attainable by New York legal guidelines together with the Grownup Survivors Act, which opened a one-year window to file civil lawsuits in instances of sexual abuse, even when the statute of limitations had expired.
Leon Bennett/Getty Photographs

By way of his lawyer, Ben Brafman, Combs accused Ventura of blackmail. “For the previous six months, Mr. Combs has been subjected to Ms. Ventura’s persistent demand of $30 million, beneath the specter of writing a harmful e-book about their relationship,” Brafman stated within the assertion, which additionally accused Ventura of mendacity in her lawsuit to hunt a “payday.” Ventura’s lawyer, Douglas Wigdor, stated Combs had really provided Ventura cash for her silence, which she had declined.

Ventura’s go well with was settled for an undisclosed quantity inside a single day. The singer said that she had “determined to resolve this matter amicably on phrases that I’ve some stage of management.”

However Ventura’s resolution to return ahead publicly opened the floodgates, and extra experiences of assault and abuse started pouring out.

Different folks say Diddy harmed them

Three different girls quickly filed go well with in opposition to Combs. Within the second go well with, Joi Dickerson-Neal says he drugged and raped her in 1991. Within the third, Liza Gardner says that in 1990, he coerced her into intercourse and choked her, inflicting her to lose consciousness. Jonathan Davis, a lawyer for Combs, stated in a assertion to the Instances that Combs denied these allegations as properly: “Due to Mr. Combs’s fame and success, he’s a simple goal for accusers who try and smear him.”

In the fourth go well with, the lady recognized as Jane Doe says she was a junior in highschool when she met then-Unhealthy Boy president Harve Pierre and one other Combs affiliate in Detroit. They satisfied her to fly on their jet to New York, the go well with says, the place they and the rapper gave her medicine and alcohol after which violently raped her.

“Ms. Doe has lived together with her recollections of this fateful night time for 20 years, throughout which era she has suffered excessive emotional misery that has impacted practically each side of her life and private relationships,” the go well with says. “Given the courageous girls who’ve come ahead in opposition to Ms. Combs and Mr. Pierre in latest weeks, Ms. Doe is doing the identical.”

In response to that go well with, Combs launched a press release denying all experiences of violence, calling them “sickening allegations” made “by people on the lookout for a fast payday.” Pierre has additionally denied the allegations, saying in a press release to TMZ, “I’ve by no means participated in, witnessed, nor heard of something like this, ever.”

The ladies got here ahead final 12 months as a result of two New York legal guidelines — considered one of which paved the best way for E. Jean Carroll’s profitable lawsuit in opposition to Donald Trump for sexual abuse and defamation — opened restricted home windows of time by which folks can file civil lawsuits alleging sexual abuse, even when the statute of limitations has handed. A type of home windows closed in late November, explaining the flurry of complaints.

Whereas the fits largely describe conduct the plaintiffs say occurred years in the past, a February submitting by Rodney Jones Jr., often called Lil Rod, says that Combs subjected him to undesirable touching and tried to “groom” him after they labored collectively on The Love Album: Off the Grid in 2022 and 2023. Jones says that at a celebration in 2023, he was pressured to drink tequila combined with medicine, then awakened “bare with a intercourse employee sleeping subsequent to him.” He says that Combs provided cash and threatened violence to get him to solicit intercourse staff and carry out intercourse acts with them.

Combs has denied Jones’s allegations. In a press release, Shawn Holley, a lawyer for Combs, stated, “We’ve overwhelming, indeniable proof that his claims are full lies,” and referred to as Jones “nothing greater than a liar who filed a $30 million lawsuit shamelessly on the lookout for an undeserved payday.”

Within the wake of those civil lawsuits, raids in Los Angeles and Miami Seashore in March have pointed to an obvious legal investigation. In line with the Instances, the raids on houses linked to the rapper have been a part of an inquiry by federal prosecutors within the Southern District of New York and brokers with the Division of Homeland Safety. Few particulars have been obtainable within the rapid aftermath, and attorneys for Combs haven’t but responded to requests for remark from Vox or the Instances. Nonetheless, the raids recommend a possible new stage within the Combs case, with regulation enforcement sources additionally telling the Los Angeles Instances they have been linked to intercourse trafficking allegations.

Combs was rumored to have left the nation on Monday after his non-public airplane traveled to Antigua, however he was later noticed within the Miami-Opa Locka airport. No matter his whereabouts, the investigations in Los Angeles and Miami Seashore have as soon as once more positioned the rapper beneath intense public scrutiny.

Is that this the music trade’s Me Too second?

The rising variety of experiences, and their chilling particulars, have led firms and influential folks in media and enterprise to distance themselves from the rapper. Diageo, the beverage model with which Combs partnered on vodka and tequila, eliminated his picture from its web site. Capital Preparatory Faculties, a New York constitution faculty community Combs helped increase, posted a press release on the varsity’s web site saying it was slicing ties with him (although the assertion was later eliminated). Combs additionally stepped apart as chair of Revolt, a TV community he helped begin in 2013.

The instances in opposition to Combs are coming to gentle in opposition to a backdrop of different accusations in opposition to main figures in music. In November, a lady sued Neil Portnow, former head of the Grammy Awards, saying he had drugged and raped her in 2018. The identical month, a former worker sued music govt L.A. “Babyface” Reid, saying he sexually assaulted and harassed her, resulting in irrevocable injury to her profession within the music trade.

In addition they happen at a time when Ye, a music and trend mogul whose profession has parallels with Diddy’s, has misplaced lots of his model partnerships after public antisemitic and racist statements in addition to what many say was a years-long sample of verbal abuse and harassment, which can have been saved quiet partly as a result of partnering with him was so profitable for manufacturers.

Whereas the Me Too motion pressured reckonings round sexual assault and harassment in industries from movie to different media to eating places in 2017 and 2018, many within the music enterprise felt that its greatest gamers have been comparatively unscathed. R. Kelly, for instance, confronted few penalties till Hampton’s extensively watched 2019 docuseries drew renewed consideration to the accusations — regardless of repeated allegations that he’d had sexual contact with underage ladies, a number of lawsuits, and even a 2008 legal trial over baby sexual abuse materials. Many argued that the explanation Kelly was given a cross for thus lengthy was that the ladies coming ahead to report abuse by him have been Black. In 2021, he was convicted of intercourse trafficking and sentenced to 30 years in jail; a second 20-year sentence was added the next 12 months, with all however one 12 months to be served concurrently with the primary sentence.

Three girls said publicly in 2017 that one other influential music trade determine, Def Jam Recordings co-founder Russell Simmons, had raped them. Like Kelly, he was the topic of a documentary specializing in the allegations, although he has not confronted expenses.

Now, Ventura and the opposite folks submitting go well with are reporting violent rape, intimidation, and abuse by one of many greatest names in music, somebody who symbolized the motion of hip-hop into each mainstream and high-end tradition. Combs in his heyday was an icon of energy and affect in music, trend, and enterprise, and the lawsuits symbolize a brand new willingness to name that energy to account.

In addition they function a reminder that the Me Too motion has made enduring adjustments, together with influencing regulation and coverage and making a street map for survivors of assault to return ahead and share their tales.

Replace, Could 20, 10:50 am ET: This story, initially printed on December 20, 2023, has been up to date to replicate latest developments, together with Sean “Diddy” Combs’s apology following the publication of a video that reveals him kicking and dragging singer Cassie Ventura.



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