Music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs has been hit with a lawsuit accusing him of raping and sex trafficking a young R&B performer for more than a decade.
The bombshell filing, first reported by the New York Times, alleges that Combs controlled and abused singer Cassie for more than a decade, plying her with drugs, abusing her and forcing her to have sex with multiple male sex workers while he videotaped the encounters.
Cassie, whose real name is Casandra Ventura, met Combs in 2005 when she was just 19, the lawsuit says. The pair started dating and allegedly it wasn’t long before the rap mogul began a pattern of control and abuse.
In 2018, the suit says, Combs forced his way into her home and raped her. It was then that she left the relationship.
“After years in silence and darkness,” Ms. Ventura said in a statement published by NBC News, “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.
“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,” Ventura said, referencing New York state law that allows people who say they were victims of sexual abuse to file civil suits after the statute of limitations has expired. The one-year window to file cases under the law ends next week.
In response, a lawyer Combs told the New York Times: “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.”
The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court Thursday, alleges that in 2005 a 37-year-old Combs signed 19-year-old Ventura to his Bad Boy record label and began luring her into a sexual relationship. Eventually, it says, Combs introduced her “to a lifestyle of excessive alcohol and substance abuse.”
The suit also claims that Combs blew up another rapper’s car who expressed interest in Ventura, forced her to find male prostitutes to have sex with while Combs watched, and repeatedly “punched, beat, kicked and stomped on” her.
“Throughout their relationship Mr. Combs was prone to uncontrollable rage, and frequently beat Ms. Ventura savagely,” the suit alleges.
To read the full details of the lawsuit, visit the New York Times.