New York [US]: American rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs was sued on Thursday in federal court in New York City by his ex-girlfriend Casandra Ventura, also known as Cassie, who claimed Combs repeatedly abused her physically and sexually, CNN reported.
The complaint, obtained by CNN, alleged that Combs ‘lured Ms. Ventura into an ostentatious, fast-paced, and drug-fueled lifestyle, and into a romantic relationship with him’ within two years of the two meeting in 2005 or 2006 and Combs signing Ventura to his record label, Bad Boy Records, soon after.
Throughout their business and emotional relationship, Ventura alleges in the lawsuit, that Combs ‘exerted his power and influence’ over her.
She was 19 and Combs was 37 when they first met, according to the complaint, and their business partnership continued until 2019.
According to the complaint, Combs ‘introduced’ Ventura to a lifestyle of ‘excessive alcohol and substance abuse,’ controlled every area of her personal life, and forced her to participate in numerous sex activities with other men.
Ventura claims in the lawsuit that Combs broke into her home and sexually assaulted her in 2018, just after she attempted to break up with him.
Currently a mother of two, Ventura argued in the lawsuit that she battled alcohol and drug addictions ‘that were established and fueled by Mr. Combs’ during their relationship.
According to the lawsuit, Ventura checked herself into an inpatient rehabilitation facility at one time due to suicidal thoughts she connected to abuse. She also claimed that she still experiences ‘immense emotional distress.’
‘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 – an R&B singer who goes by the stage name Cassie, said in a statement to CNN.
‘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 an email sent to CNN by Combs’ publicist, Combs’ lawyer Ben Brafman stated, ‘Mr. Combs vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations.’
The statement continued, ‘For the past 6 months, Mr. Combs, has been subjected to Ms. Ventura’s persistent demand of $30 million, 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’ reputation and seeking a payday.’
Combs and the other defendants are charged in the case with human trafficking, sex trafficking, sexual assault, gender-motivated violence, sexual harassment, and creating a hostile work environment.
Ventura also requested undisclosed financial damages.
The complaint names Combs as well as his businesses, which include Combs Enterprises, Bad Boy Records, and Bad Boy Entertainment. It also mentions Epic Records, which is Ventura’s employer.
The Adult Survivors Act of New York entered into effect in late November 2022 and permits adult victims of sexual abuse to file a lawsuit in New York against their perpetrators, even if the statute of limitations has passed. The statute, which expires on November 24, gives adult survivors of sexual assault a year to bring legal action against their attackers.
Combs, also known by his stage names Puff Daddy and Diddy, started the record company Bad Boy in 1993. Combs, who is recognised for his contributions to the development of the hip-hop genre, has received 14 nominations and three Grammy awards during his career.
The 37-year-old R&B singer Ventura is most known for the song ‘Me & U’ from her 2006 self-titled debut album ‘Cassie,’ which was made available while Ventura was a Bad Boy label signee for Combs. Along with working with musicians like Lil Wayne and Akon, she also released the tune ‘Must Be Love’ with Combs in 2009.