Sean Combs Apologizes After Video Shows Him Assaulting Cassie


Two days after CNN published video footage showing him striking, kicking and dragging his former girlfriend, Sean Combs posted a video on social media on Sunday calling his behavior “inexcusable.”

The footage that surfaced on Friday showed Mr. Combs, the hip-hop mogul known as Puff Daddy and Diddy, kicking and dragging his former girlfriend, Casandra Ventura, known as Cassie, in 2016.

Last year Ms. Ventura filed and then quickly settled a lawsuit against Mr. Combs accusing him of years of physical and sexual abuse. The footage shown Friday, which appeared to come from security cameras, was consistent with some of the allegations in her lawsuit, which accused Mr. Combs of assaulting her at an InterContinental Hotel in Los Angeles in 2016 as she tried to leave.

“It’s so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you got to do that,” Mr. Combs said in his apology video, which he posted to Instagram. “I hit rock bottom — but I make no excuses. My behavior on that video is inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I’m disgusted. I was disgusted then when I did it. I’m disgusted now.”

A lawyer for Mr. Combs had previously denied the allegations in Ms. Ventura’s lawsuit. In a statement following the suit, which was filed in November, the lawyer said that Combs “vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations.” The next day, Mr. Combs said, “We have decided to resolve this matter amicably.”

In her lawsuit, Ms. Ventura accused Mr. Combs of forcing her to have sex with male prostitutes in front of him in encounters that he called “freak offs,” which she said he instructed her to arrange. Her court filing said that the 2016 assault took place after a freak off during which she said Mr. Combs “became extremely intoxicated and punched Ms. Ventura in the face, giving her a black eye.” Ms. Ventura tried to leave the hotel room after Mr. Combs fell asleep, the lawsuit said, but he awoke and began screaming, following her down the hallway and picking up glass vases and throwing them at her.

According to her account in the filing, she managed to leave and take a cab to her apartment, but then decided to return to the hotel “with the intention of apologizing for running away from her abuser.”

“When she returned, hotel security staff urged her to get back into a cab and go to her apartment,” the lawsuit said, “suggesting that they had seen the security footage showing Mr. Combs beating Ms. Ventura and throwing glass at her in the hotel hallway.”

The lawsuit accused Mr. Combs of having paid the hotel $50,000 for the security footage from that evening.

Representatives from IHG, which owns InterContinental, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company said in a statement to People Magazine that the hotel was no longer under its management and that it does not have access to footage or incident records.

After the hotel footage surfaced, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office released a statement saying that the assault happened too long ago to prosecute.

After Ms. Ventura settled her lawsuit, Mr. Combs was sued by three women who accused him of rape, and a male music producer who accused him of unwanted sexual contact. Mr. Combs has vehemently denied the accusations in the civil suits, calling them “sickening allegations” from people looking for “a quick payday.”

Mr. Combs’s legal troubles escalated in March, when federal agents raided his homes in Los Angeles and Miami Beach and stopped him at a Miami-area airport, confiscating his electronic devices. Officials have said that the inquiry is at least in part a human trafficking investigation.

Mr. Combs’s lawyers have been fighting the lawsuits in court and have called the raids a “gross overuse of military-level force.”

But in Sunday’s video, Mr. Combs struck a tone of contrition in response to video evidence of his assaulting Ms. Ventura.

“I went and I sought out professional help,” he said. “I got into going to therapy, going to rehab. I had to ask God for his mercy and grace. I’m so sorry. But I’m committed to be a better man each and every day. I’m not asking for forgiveness. I’m truly sorry.”





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