One day after Sean “Diddy” Combs’ former romantic partner and R&B singer Cassie Ventura sued him for years of alleged physical abuse and even rape, the pair have resolved the claims she filed in Manhattan federal court.
“I have decided to resolve this matter amicably on terms that I have some level of control,” Ventura said in a statement issued late Friday night (Nov. 17) by her attorney, Douglas Wigdor. “I want to thank my family, fans and lawyers for their unwavering support.”
Combs responded with a statement, adding, “We have decided to resolve this matter amicably. I wish Cassie and her family all the best. Love.” No terms were disclosed and the release states that “the parties will have no further statements.” When reached by Billboard, Wigdor declined to comment further. Combs’ attorney, Ben Brafman, did not immediately respond to a request for comment or to verify the resolution.
In the lawsuit, attorneys for Ventura claimed she “endured over a decade of his violent behavior and disturbed demands,” including repeated physical beatings and forcing her to “engage in sex acts with male sex workers” while he masturbated.
According to the complaint, after she attempted to separate herself from him in 2018, Combs “forced her into her home and raped her while she repeatedly said ‘no’ and tried to push him away.”
“Ms. Ventura has now fully escaped Mr. Combs, but the harm that the assaults and sexual abuse he caused her to experience for nearly a decade will forever haunt her,” wrote Cassie’s attorney Douglas Wigdor, who has filed a number of high-profile sexual abuse cases. “She cannot, however, continue to live in silence about what she endured. Mr. Combs remains immensely powerful, and immensely dangerous.”
Combs’ attorney, celebrity defense lawyer Brafman, said his client “vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations,” alleging that for the last six months, Ventura had demanded $30 million “under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail.” In the statement, Brafman continued, “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’ reputation and seeking a pay day.”
Wigdor responded that Combs had offered Ventura “eight figures” to prevent her from filing the lawsuit, an offer she rejected.
Ventura, who had an on-and-off public relationship with Combs for 11 years until they split in 2018, says that she met the hip-hop mogul in 2005, when she was just 19 and he was 37. After he signed her to his Bad Boy Records label, she says Combs “lured” her into a romantic relationship – albeit one in which he “asserted complete control over Ms. Ventura’s personal and professional life.”
During the relationship, Ventura says she suffered “episodes of horrific abuse,” including times when he would fly into an “uncontrollable rage” and “beat Ms. Ventura savagely.” She says he would remind her of his ability to harm her, including by requiring her to carry his gun in her purse.
The suit also accuses Combs of blowing up a car belonging to Kid Cudi in 2012 after the rapper expressed interest in Ventura. “Mr. Combs told Ms. Ventura that he was going to blow up Kid Cudi’s car, and that he wanted to ensure that Kid Cudi was home with his friends when it happened,” Ventura’s lawyers write. “Around that time, Kid Cudi’s car exploded in his driveway.”
The case was filed under newly enacted laws in New York and California that revised the time limits for bringing abuse lawsuits, creating limited windows for alleged survivors to take legal action over years-old accusations that would typically be barred under the statute of limitations. In New York, the look-back window closes later this month.
In a statement issued tonight, Wigdor added, “I am very proud of Ms. Ventura for having the strength to go public with her lawsuit. She ought to be commended for doing so.”