WARNING: This article contains graphic content and may affect those who have experienced sexual violence or know someone affected by it.
Sean (Diddy) Combs, was accused in a lawsuit Thursday of subjecting R&B singer Cassie to a yearslong relationship that included beatings and rape.
Cassie, whose legal name is Casandra Ventura, alleged in the lawsuit filed against the producer and music mogul in New York federal court that Combs brought her into his “ostentatious, fast-paced and drug-fuelled lifestyle” not long after she met him and signed to his label when she was 19 and he was 37 in 2005.
Combs’s lawyer Ben Brafman did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. In a statement to the New York Times, he said Combs denies the allegations.
Ventura, now 37 herself, said Combs, now 54, began the pattern of abuse soon after they met. The suit alleges he subjected her to beatings, gave her drugs, and forced her to have sex with other men while he masturbated and filmed them.
The suit says Combs forced his way into her home and raped her as the relationship was ending in 2018.
“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,” Ventura said in a statement.
The Associated Press does not typically name people who say they have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly as Ventura has.
Combs denies allegations via lawyer
Brafman called the allegations “lies.”
“For the past six months, Mr. Combs has been subjected to Ms. Ventura’s persistent demand of $30 million US, under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail,” his statement to the Times said.
“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.”
Combs is a three-time Grammy winner who is among the most influential hip-hop producers and executives of the past three decades.
Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. If you’re in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.