Sean “Diddy” Combs faces allegations of rape, sexual assault, sex trafficking and repeated physical abuse by his former girlfriend Cassie, whose real name is Casandra Ventura, in a civil lawsuit filed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, according to court documents obtained by The Los Angeles Times.
The singer also mentions Bad Boy Entertainment, Bad Boy Records, Combs Enterprises, LLC, and Epic Records as additional defendants in the suit.
According to the complaint, the pair met in 2005 when Cassie was 19, and the then-37-year-old Combs formed a professional and romantic relationship with the singer after taking an interest in her music career.
“He signed her to his label, Bad Boy Records, and within a few years, lured Ms. Ventura into an ostentatious, fast-paced, and drug-fueled lifestyle, and into a romantic relationship with him — her boss, one of the most powerful men in the entertainment industry, and a vicious, cruel, and controlling man nearly two decades her senior,” the suit stated.
The 37-year-old spent almost 11 years with Combs, 54, and hoped her decision to speak up and share her story would help other women in similar situations.
“After years in silence and darkness, I am finally ready to tell my story, and to speak up on behalf of myself and for the benefit of other women who face violence and abuse in their relationships,” Cassie said in a statement, according to The Times.
“With the expiration of New York’s Adult Survivors Act fast approaching, it became clear that this was an opportunity to speak up about the trauma I have experienced and that I will be recovering from for the rest of my life,” she added.
Cassie filed the suit under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, enacted in late November 2022. The law allows accusers a one-year window to file civil claims of sexual abuse against their accusers after the statute of limitations has ended.
Combs’ lawyer, Ben Brafman, called the allegations “outrageous” and said Cassie had initially requested $30 million from Diddy several months before filing the suit.
“Mr. Combs vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations. For the past six months, Mr. Combs has been subjected to Ms. Ventura’s persistent demand of $30 million, under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail. Despite withdrawing her initial threat, Ms. Ventura has now resorted to filing a lawsuit riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aiming to tarnish Mr. Combs’s reputation and seeking a payday,” per The Times.
In response, Cassie’s lawyer, Douglas Wigdor, said Combs “offered Ms. Ventura eight figures to silence her and prevent the filing of this lawsuit. She rejected his efforts and decided to give a voice to all woman who suffer in silence,” CNBC reported.
“Ms. Ventura should be applauded for her bravery,” Wigdor added. “No human should have to endure what Ms. Ventura has endured.”
The allegations against Combs occurred during the pair’s relationship, ranging from physical abuse, excessive drug usage and sexual dominance.
In the filing, Cassie accuses him of having total control over her career and personal life, including her healthcare and medical records. He then allegedly began sexually and physically abusing her while forcing her to take drugs and prescription pills he insisted she get from his doctor in Miami.
“For instance, when Ms. Ventura began experiencing memory loss — potentially due to excessive drug use and/or head injuries caused by Mr. Combs’s beatings … her MRI results were provided directly to Mr. Combs,” the suit says. “Mr. Combs also repeatedly arranged for his staff to drive Ms. Ventura to certain doctors’ appointments,” per The Times.
The suit also states Combs forced Cassie to participate in sexual encounters she referred to as “freak offs” with male prostitutes in various luxury hotels in the United States and his homes. He’s accused of dangling one of Cassie’s friends over a 17th-floor hotel balcony while severely intoxicated; in early 2012, Diddy threatened to blow up rapper Kid Cudi’s car after learning he and Cassie had a brief relationship during the couple’s “rough patch.”
At the time, Cudi’s car exploded in a driveway, and he confirmed through a spokeswoman that the incident mentioned in the lawsuit was accurate. “This is all true,” he said, according to The New York Times.
In 2018, Cassie and Combs had dinner at an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, to which the singer thought they were discussing an end to their years-long relationship. However, the 54-year-old went back to Cassie’s apartment, tried kissing her and later allegedly raped her. After the encounter, Cassie reportedly ended the relationship and left him for good, according to the suit, per USA Today.
Cassie is now married to personal trainer Alex Fine, and the couple share two young children.