Sean Diddy

Why Diddy's Former Backup Dancer Tanika Ray Says She 'Knew to Avoid Him at All Costs'

Author: Editors Desk, Ilana Kaplan Source: People Magazine:
March 28, 2024 at 21:27

"If I told my story in 1996 then What??" she captioned an Instagram post on Wednesday

Sean “Diddy” Combs' backup dancer Tanika Ray says she "knew to avoid him at all costs" when she worked for him.

On Wednesday, the former Extra host, 52, shared an Instagram post about her interactions with the hip-hop star, 54, in the past and how she handled herself alongside a video responding to a segment where journalist Touré accused Diddy of firing his male relative after he refused to "stay the night."

"You know, we all have stories," Ray said in the clip. "Seriously, we all have stories. Mine is horrific, and only five people know it. And I probably will never tell it but it's since then I've been like, 'Yup.' And I'm also very intimately aware that if you tell your truth you become victimized over and over and over and over and over. And mind you, I then interviewed him many times."

She added that she's "got a lot of stories" because she's "been in Hollywood for 25 years, maybe longer."

"Maybe I'll write a book one day, but it just is so traumatizing that women just want to live everyday and feel safe," Ray added. "And when we revisit and revisit, we live in a state of victimhood, and nobody wants to live there. So for those who are like, 'why didn't you say something then?' Because we just want to live, we want to be happy and we really want to forget the trauma. So there's that."


Tanika Ray and Diddy

In the caption, Ray noted that "women hold a lot in order to function every day in a man's world."

"Unfortch we can compartmentalization out pain and carry on," she wrote. "We utilize the experience as a lesson and move differently. If I told my story in 1996 then What?? I just knew to avoid him at all costs. Yes I danced for him and kept my space. I was on the Vote or die airplane and kept my space. I interviewed him for his projects and kept my space. Nothing that is happening is surprising."

Ray continued: "Ladies keep space to heal and move on is key. Gathering to incriminate is goals. But in this wild world with a broke azz system… our healing is priority. Shame on all those men that let this continue. Shame on me maybe for prioritizing my mental health some would say. But after working in a place that snatches souls… mine is in tact and of the light. I saved myself. Now if someone needs me to pile on my story, give me a call. But I think Cassie got it!!"

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The "I'll Be Missing You" artist is currently facing a number of sexual assault allegations.

In November 2023, his ex Casandra 'Cassie' Ventura filed a bombshell lawsuit against him, claiming that the music mogul raped and sex trafficked over 10 abusive years.

In her complaint filed against Combs in New York, she alleged that she was stuck in a decade-long “cycle of abuse, violence and sex trafficking” which included a 2018 rape after she tried to leave him, and several instances of domestic violence.


Sean 'Diddy' Combs attends the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Sean 'Diddy' Combs
Sean "Diddy" Combs in Beverly Hills in January 2020. GREGG DEGUIRE/GETTY IMAGES

A day later, the lawsuit was resolved to their "mutual satisfaction," however, more allegations have been made since by others, with some making claims of abuse, sex trafficking and gang rape against Diddy. 

In December, the Bad Boy Records founder spoke out about the allegations and denied them all. “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. For the last couple of weeks, I have sat silently and watched people try to assassinate my character, destroy my reputation and my legacy,” he wrote in the statement, which was obtained by PEOPLE. “Sickening allegations have been made against me by individuals looking for a quick payday. Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth."

In March 2024, Diddy's properties were raided by federal agents, which a Homeland Security Investigations representative told PEOPLE was "part of an ongoing investigation."

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to

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