Sean Diddy

Sean (Diddy) Combs admits beating ex-girlfriend Cassie, calls actions 'inexcusable'

Author: Editors Desk, The Associated Press Source: CBC News:
May 19, 2024 at 22:58

Music mogul releases video to apologize for what happened during his 'darkest times' 



WARNING: This story contains details of intimate partner violence.

Sean (Diddy) Combs admitted that he beat his ex-girlfriend Cassie in a hotel hallway in 2016 after CNN released video of the attack, saying in a video apology he was "truly sorry" and his actions were "inexcusable."

"I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I was disgusted then when I did it. I'm disgusted now," the music mogul said in a video statement posted Sunday to Instagram and Facebook.

The video aired by CNN on Friday shows Combs, wearing only a white towel, punching and kicking Cassie, an R&B singer who was his protégé and longtime girlfriend at the time. The footage also shows Combs shoving and dragging Cassie, and throwing a vase in her direction.

Cassie, whose legal name is Cassandra Ventura, sued Combs in November over what she said was years of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. The suit was settled the next day but spurred intense scrutiny of Combs, with several more lawsuits filed in the following months — along with a federal criminal sex-trafficking investigation that led authorities to raid Combs's mansions in Los Angeles and Miami.


WATCH | Combs's apology on Instagram:

'I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I was disgusted then when I did it. I'm disgusted now,' Sean (Diddy) Combs said in a video statement posted Sunday to Instagram and Facebook addressing 2016 security footage that showed him punching and kicking Cassie, an R&B singer who was his protégé and longtime girlfriend at the time.


He denied the allegations in the lawsuits, but neither he nor his representatives had responded to the newly emerged video until Sunday.

"It's so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you got to do that," Combs says on the video. He adds, "I was disgusted then when I did it. I'm disgusted now. I went and I sought out professional help. I got into going to therapy, going to rehab. I had to ask God for his mercy and grace. I'm so sorry. But I'm committed to be a better man each and every day. I'm not asking for forgiveness. I'm truly sorry."

Combs is looking sombre and wearing a T-shirt in the selfie-style apology video, and he appears to be on a patio. It is his most direct response and first apology after six months of allegations that have threatened his reputation and career.

Meredith Firetog, who represents Ventura and other women who have sued Combs, said the apology was "more about himself than the many people he has hurt."


A medium close up shows a person posing for a photo.
U.S. singer Cassie is seen in Cannes, southern France, in May 2012. (Lionel Cironneau/The Associated Press)


"When Cassie and multiple other women came forward, he denied everything and suggested that his victims were looking for a payday," the lawyer said in a statement. "That he was only compelled to 'apologize' once his repeated denials were proven false shows his pathetic desperation, and no one will be swayed by his disingenuous words."

In December, after Ventura and at least three other women had filed lawsuits against him, Combs posted a statement on Instagram broadly denying the truth of all of them.

"Let me absolutely clear. I did not do any of the awful things being alleged," the post said.


WARNING | This video contains graphic content:


Surveillance video from a hotel in 2016 appears to show rapper and record mogul Sean 'Diddy' Combs grab, shove, drag and kick his then-girlfriend Cassie Ventura, matching allegations she made in a now-settled civil suit against him.


The security camera video, dated March 5, 2016, closely resembles the description of an incident at an InterContinental Hotel in the Century City area of Los Angeles described in Ventura's lawsuit.

The suit alleges that Combs paid the hotel $50,000 US for the security video immediately after the incident. Neither he or his representatives have addressed that specific allegation. CNN did not say how it obtained the footage.

The suit said Ventura had been trying to get away from a sleeping Combs, who had already punched her in the face before the video began.

Combs is not in danger of being criminally prosecuted for the beating. The statute of limitations for the assault and battery charges he would be likely to face expired years ago.

The same is true of many of the allegations in the lawsuits, but the federal investigators following Combs are likely looking for potential crimes they can bring under the law.

However, Gloria Allred, an attorney who has represented women in cases alleging sexual assault against high-profile celebrities, told CBC News that Combs's legal problems are not yet over as he could still be taken to civil court. She noted that U.S. federal authorities — who recently raided his home — may be paying attention to the incident as part of their federal investigation into Combs.

WATCH | Combs's legal problems not yet over, says Gloria Allred:

"It would not at all surprise me if the [U.S.] Justice Department and federal prosecutors are taking a look at this video," Allred said.

Ventura signed to Combs's label in 2005. The two had an on-again-off-again romantic relationship for more than a decade starting in 2007.

Support is available for anyone who has been abused or assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. The Canadian Women's Foundation's Signal For Help is a silent, one-handed gesture to use in a video call to indicate that you are at risk of violence at home. ​​If you're in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.

With files from CBC News

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