Cassie Ventura, an R&B artist formerly associated with Sean “Diddy” Combs’ record label, has filed a lawsuit accusing the prominent music producer and rapper of a decade of abuse. The legal action, filed in Manhattan federal court, includes allegations of trafficking, rape, and physical violence beginning in 2005 and continuing until 2018.
Ventura, 37, expressed through her legal team at Wigdor LLP that she is ready to share her story to shine a light on the violence and abuse faced by women in relationships. Her accusations against Combs, 54, are severe, including claims of drug and alcohol coercion, forced sexual encounters with male sex workers recorded by Combs, and a violent outburst involving rapper Kid Cudi.
The lawsuit details an attempt by Ventura to leave the relationship in 2018, which allegedly resulted in Combs forcing his way into her home and raping her. The two had been in an intermittent public relationship since meeting in 2005 when Ventura was 19 and Combs 37.
Ventura’s career began under Combs’ guidance at Bad Boy Records, where she claims she was introduced to a dangerous lifestyle of drugs and fame. The suit accuses Combs of initiating Ventura into opiate use in 2008 to maintain control over her.
Throughout their relationship, Ventura alleges Combs physically assaulted her frequently, often in the presence of others, without any intervention due to Combs’ status in the music industry. The suit also describes how threats to Ventura’s career were used to manipulate her, including withholding the release of her music.
Ventura describes a pattern of domination by Combs, including instances where he exerted control over her finances, living arrangements, and even her health, directing that her medical records be sent to him.
The lawsuit implicates Bad Boy Entertainment and Records, Epic Records, and Combs Enterprises for failing to protect Ventura from Combs’ actions. In response, Combs’ attorney, Ben Brafman, has denied the allegations, labeling them as baseless and a form of blackmail for financial gain.
One particularly harrowing incident in 2009 detailed in the lawsuit alleges Combs assaulted Ventura at a Los Angeles party, leading to her seclusion in a hotel until her injuries healed.
Ventura cites the New York Adult Survivors Act, allowing victims to file civil suits past the statute of limitations, as her motivation to come forward. She seeks justice for the years of abuse she claims to have suffered, stating the need to break her silence against someone as powerful and dangerous as Combs.