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The video of Diddy appearing to attack singer Cassie and all the allegations against him, explained



The video of Diddy appearing to attack singer Cassie and all the allegations against him, explained

With a violent 2016 surveillance video made public on Friday showing to point out 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 going through Diddy is reaching a brand new boiling level.

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

The tape seems to point out Ventura, a singer who performs beneath the identify 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 pull her down the hallway, presumably again to their room, although she frees herself. Later, he seems to throw a vase at Ventura.

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 an announcement on the time of the swimsuit, 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 in search of a payday.” However the publication of the video this week provides a layer of seeming corroboration to at the least a few of the accusations made towards the rapper.

Ventura’s case, settled at some point 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 identify 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 have interaction in intercourse with different males. Collectively, the instances have redirected public consideration towards longstanding allegations of violence towards 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 statement, “I didn’t do any of the terrible issues being alleged. I’ll struggle for my identify, 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 individuals have sued him, saying he used that affect and wealth to sexually victimize and, in some instances, site 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 style, 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 towards a significant determine within the music business, which many really feel has did not reckon with abuses of energy, even on the top 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 contemporary and extra important eyes — in some instances due to the landmark New York legal guidelines which have allowed individuals 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 asserting 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, informed the Occasions late final yr that an accounting was arriving for the Dangerous Boy founder. “Puff is completed,” she stated.

The fits towards 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 an everlasting impression. Even when allegations of sexual assault and harassment don’t make every day headlines the best way they did in 2017, the reckoning is ongoing — and no business is more likely 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 style. He began Dangerous 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. Dangerous 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 growth in hip-hop that lasted till the top of the nineties,” based on Michael Specter of the New Yorker.

Combs was additionally one of many first to mix the worlds of hip-hop, enterprise, and luxurious. His style label, Sean John, based in 1998, turned recognized for high-end menswear. He promoted manufacturers of vodka and tequila and hosted unique white events within the Hamptons with friends like Martha Stewart. Although now not as central a determine as he was within the ’90s, Combs stays a wealthy and well-connected superstar: Inside a span of weeks final fall, he held a joint album launch and celebration attended by stars corresponding 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 pictured at a efficiency in London in November.
Samir Hussein/Getty Photos 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 cellphone, and a champagne bottle; he needed to pay a high-quality and take an anger administration class, based on the New Yorker. The identical yr, he was concerned in a taking pictures at a membership in Manhattan, the place he was attending a celebration together 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 towards 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 acquired mainstream public consideration — till now.

Singer Cassie filed swimsuit towards Diddy in November

In November, Cassie, whose actual identify is Casandra Ventura, sued Combs, alleging sexual assault and intercourse trafficking. Within the swimsuit, first reported by the New York Occasions, 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 photographs and movies afterward, however Combs retained entry, she stated within the swimsuit, at one level making her watch a video she thought she had deleted.

Ventura’s swimsuit additionally stated that Combs and his associates used his energy and wealth to intimidate her into silence and compliance, together with his staff threatening to wreck her music profession if she spoke out towards him. In a single notably stunning element, Ventura stated Combs threatened to explode the rapper Child Cudi’s automobile as a result of Cudi and Ventura have been relationship; the automobile later exploded. “That is all true,” a spokesperson for Child Cudi informed the Occasions of the automobile 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 doable 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 Photos

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 guide 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 swimsuit was settled for an undisclosed quantity inside a single day. The singer acknowledged that she had “determined to resolve this matter amicably on phrases that I’ve some degree of management.”

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

Different individuals say Diddy harmed them

Three different girls quickly filed swimsuit towards Combs. Within the second swimsuit, 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 an announcement to the Occasions that Combs denied these allegations as nicely: “Due to Mr. Combs’s fame and success, he’s a simple goal for accusers who try and smear him.”

Within the fourth swimsuit, the girl recognized as Jane Doe says she was a junior in highschool when she met then-Dangerous Boy president Harve Pierre and one other Combs affiliate in Detroit. They satisfied her to fly on their jet to New York, the swimsuit 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 period she has suffered excessive emotional misery that has impacted almost each side of her life and private relationships,” the swimsuit says. “Given the courageous girls who’ve come ahead towards Ms. Combs and Mr. Pierre in latest weeks, Ms. Doe is doing the identical.”

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

The ladies got here ahead final yr as a result of two New York legal guidelines — one among which paved the best way for E. Jean Carroll’s profitable lawsuit towards Donald Trump for sexual abuse and defamation — opened restricted home windows of time through which individuals 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., referred to as Lil Rod, says that Combs subjected him to undesirable touching and tried to “groom” him once 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 an announcement, Shawn Holley, a lawyer for Combs, stated, “We’ve got 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 searching 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 felony investigation. In line with the Occasions, 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 quick aftermath, and legal professionals for Combs haven’t but responded to requests for remark from Vox or the Occasions. Nevertheless, the raids counsel a possible new degree within the Combs case, with regulation enforcement sources additionally telling the Los Angeles Occasions they have been linked to intercourse trafficking allegations.

Combs was rumored to have left the nation on Monday after his non-public aircraft 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 business’s Me Too second?

The rising variety of experiences, and their chilling particulars, have led firms and influential individuals 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 college community Combs helped broaden, posted an announcement on the varsity’s web site saying it was chopping 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 towards Combs are coming to gentle towards a backdrop of different accusations towards main figures in music. In November, a girl 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 harm to her profession within the music business.

Additionally they happen at a time when Ye, a music and style 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 largest gamers have been comparatively unscathed. R. Kelly, for instance, confronted few penalties till Hampton’s broadly 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 felony 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 yr, with all however one yr to be served concurrently with the primary sentence.

Three girls acknowledged publicly in 2017 that one other influential music business 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 individuals submitting swimsuit are reporting violent rape, intimidation, and abuse by one of many largest 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, style, and enterprise, and the lawsuits symbolize a brand new willingness to name that energy to account.

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

Replace, Might 17, 3:05 pm ET: This story, initially revealed on December 20, 2023, has been up to date to replicate latest developments, together with the publication of a video showing to point out Sean “Diddy” Combs kicking and dragging singer Cassie Ventura.

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