Sean “Diddy” Combs was sued Thursday by R&B singer Cassie, the powerful hip-hop mogul’s longtime label-mate and girlfriend who alleges in a federal civil lawsuit that she was repeatedly physically and sexually abused from the time they started dating when she was 19.
The singer, whose real name is Cassandra Ventura, alleges years of sex trafficking and sexual assault lawsuit filed in U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York. She is seeking undisclosed damages.
“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 said in a statement acquired by TheWrap.
Through a spokesman, Combs says he “vehemently” denies the allegations.
According to the lawsuit, Combs and Ventura met in 2005, when Ventura was 19 and he was 37. After 10 years together, the two split in 2018 after Ventura says she was forcibly raped by Combs.
She is pursuing the matter via a New York state law that allows a window to litigate alleged sex crimes past their statute of limitations.
“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,” she said in a statement via her attorneys, Douglas H. Wigdor, Meredith A. Firetog, and Michael J. Willemin of Wigdor LLP.
The complaint alleges a yearslong campaign of sexual abuse and control for the duration of their relationship that ended with Combs of raping her in her home after she attempted to leave him, as well as punching and beating that resulted in bruises, burst lips, black eyes and bleeding.
At one point, she alleges, Combs “blew up” a fellow artist’s car after he learned that he was romantically interested in Ventura. In addition, Ventura states Combs “forced her to engage in sex acts with male sex workers while masturbating and filming the encounters” – hence the sex trafficking charges – and stated that Combs “introduced her to a lifestyle of alcohol and substance abuse and required her to procure illicit prescriptions to satisfy his own addictions.”
“Mr. Combs vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations,” Combs’ attorney Ben Brafman said in a statement Friday. “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 pay day.”
Per the suit, Ventura is seeking “injunctive, declaratory and monetary relief” against Combs, Bad Boy Entertainment, Bad Boy Records, Epic Records, Combs Enterprises and Doe Corps.
Ventura is best known for her 2006 hit singles “Me and U” and “Long Way 2 Go,” which were produced while she was under Combs’ record label Bad Boy Records.
The New York Times first reported the news.