R&B singer Cassie is suing her ex-partner Sean “Diddy” Combs, accusing the rap mogul of rape and repeated physical abuse over the course of a decade.
The pair reportedly ended their relationship in 2018 after 10 years together.
In the suit, filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan on Thursday (16 November), Cassie, whose real name is Casandra Ventura, alleges that Combs introduced her “to a lifestyle of excessive alcohol and substance abuse” and forced her to have sex with numerous male prostitutes while he filmed the encounters.
Ventura said in a statement: “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.
“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.”
In response, a lawyer for Combs, Ben Brafman, told The Independent: “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 $30m, 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.”
Combs and Ventura allegedly met when she was 19 and he was 37 in 2005 when the “Bad Boy for Life” rapper signed the singer to his label, Bad Boy Records. Bad Boy Records, Bad Boy Entertainment, Epic Records, and Combs Enterprises are also listed as defendants in the lawsuit.
In one incident described in the lawsuit, Ventura claims that Combs was upset about her dating fellow rapper Kid Cudi and threatened to blow up his car.
“Around that time,” the suit says, “Kid Cudi’s car exploded in his driveway.”
Kid Cudi confirmed Ventura’s account via a spokeswoman, according to The New York Time, saying: “This is all true”.
Ventura alleges that when she tried to leave the relationship in 2018, Combs forced her into her own home and raped her.
“Throughout their relationship Mr Combs was prone to uncontrollable rage, and frequently beat Ms Ventura savagely,” the suit alleges.
“These beatings were witnessed by Mr. Combs’ staff and employees of Bad Boy Entertainment and Mr. Combs’s related businesses, but no one dared to speak up against their frightening and ferocious boss.”
Douglas Wigdor, a lawyer for Ms Ventura, said the parties had spoken before the suit was filed. “Mr Combs offered Ms Ventura eight figures to silence her and prevent the filing of this lawsuit,” he said. “She rejected his efforts.”
Combs is known as one of the richest, most powerful executives in the music industry. Forbes recently estimated his net worth at $1bn. He reportedly earned $90m in 2022 alone, thanks in part to his partnership with Ciroc vodka.