November 30, 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — 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 authorized identify is Casandra Ventura, alleged within the swimsuit filed in opposition to the producer and music mogul in New York federal courtroom that Combs introduced her into his “ostentatious, fast-paced, and drug-fueled way of life” not lengthy after she met him and signed to his label when she was 19 and he was 37 in 2005.

Lawyer Ben Brafman mentioned Combs “vehemently denies” the allegations.

Ventura, now 37 herself, mentioned Combs, now 54, started the sample of abuse started as quickly as their relationship did.

The swimsuit alleges that, “vulnerable to uncontrollable rage,” he subjected her to “savage” beatings by which he punched, kicked and stomped her. It alleges he plied her with medicine, and compelled her to have intercourse with different males whereas he masturbated and filmed them.

The swimsuit says that as she was making an attempt to finish the connection in 2018, Combs pressured her into her Los Angeles residence and raped her.

“After years in silence and darkness, I’m lastly prepared to inform my story, and to talk up on behalf of myself and for the advantage of different girls who face violence and abuse of their relationships,” Ventura mentioned in a press release.

The Related Press doesn’t usually identify individuals who say they’ve been sexually abused until they arrive ahead publicly as Ventura has.

Brafman known as the allegations “lies.”

“For the previous six months, Mr. Combs has been subjected to Ms. Ventura’s persistent demand of $30 million, below the specter of writing a harmful guide about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail,” he mentioned in a press release. “Regardless of withdrawing her preliminary risk, Ms. Ventura has now resorted to submitting a lawsuit riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aiming to tarnish Mr. Combs’s repute and in search of a payday.”

Ventura’s lawyer Douglas Wigdor responded in a press release that Combs supplied her “eight figures to silence her and stop her the submitting of this lawsuit. She rejected his efforts and determined to offer a voice to all girl that suffer in silence.”

Combs is among the many most influential hip-hop producers and executives of the previous three a long time.

He and Ventura started courting in 2007 and had an on-and-off relationship for greater than a decade.

She grew to become identified for the Ryan Leslie-produced hit single “Me & U,” which secured the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Scorching R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart in 2006. The music was the lead single of her solely studio album, which was self-titled.

As an actor, she has appeared in a number of tv and movies initiatives together with Fox’s “Empire,” “Step Up 2:The Streets” and “Spenser Confidential.”

Combs constructed certainly one of hip-hop’s largest empires, blazing a path with a number of entities hooked up to his well-known identify. He’s the founding father of Unhealthy Boy Information and a three-time Grammy winner who has labored with a slew of top-tier artists together with Infamous B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lil Kim, Religion Evans and 112.

The mogul created the style clothes line Sean John, launched the Revolt TV channel with a deal with music, and produced the fact present “Making the Band” for MTV.

This yr, he launched his fifth studio album “The Love Album: Off the Grid,” which earned two Grammy nominations this month.

The lawsuit cites a speech Combs gave whereas receiving a lifetime achievement honor on the BET Awards in 2022, by which he thanked Ventura for “holding me down at midnight occasions, love.”

The swimsuit says, “The reality, nevertheless, is that Cassie — Ms. Casandra Ventura — was held down by Mr. Combs and endured over a decade of his violent conduct and disturbed calls for.”