UPDATE, 7:52 PM: Just over 24 hours after Cassandra Ventura filed a rape and abuse lawsuit against her former longtime boyfriend Sean Combs, the singer and the music mogul ended the incendiary matter.
“I have decided to resolve this matter amicably on terms that I have some level of control,” Ventura a.k.a. Cassie said in a statement late Friday of the federal court case that rocked the music biz on November 16 (see below for more details). “I want to thank my family, fans and lawyers for their unwavering support.” The mega-producer also known as Diddy added with brevity: “We have decided to resolve this matter amicably. I wish Cassie and her family all the best. Love.”
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On Thursday there was back and forth talk between Ventura and Diddy’s lawyers of “eight-figure” offers to Cassie to keep quiet and allegations that the plaintiff had sought $30 million from Combs to not go public. Today, information on what kind of settlement the duo reached was not provided and neither side was talking. However, I hear that a “generous sum” was paid to the Step Up 2 actress.
All of which puts the brakes on what could have been a deep dive via legal discovery into Combs’ personal and professional life. The “Missing You” singer/producer and Ventura had been in what appears to be a volatile relationship for over a decade with the latter also signed to the former’s Bad Boy record label. News of the lawsuit Thursday saw other allegations of violence and more against Combs surface from a variety of quarters.
“I am very proud of Ms. Ventura for having the strength to go public with her lawsuit,” Cassie’s primary attorney Doug Wigdor said tonight, as his firm noted the matter was concluded to his client and Combs’ “mutual satisfaction.” Wigdor went on to say of Ventura and the spotlight her suit attacted: “She ought to be commended for doing so.”
PREVIOUSLY, NOV 16 PM: No stranger to controversy over the years, Sean Combs has been accused of rape and intense physical and psychological abuse by his longtime former girlfriend Cassandra Ventura, whose lawyers say the music mogul tried to pay her off to keep it quiet.
“Mr. Combs offered Ms. Ventura eight figures to silence her and prevent the filing of this lawsuit,” Doug Wigdor told Deadline on Thursday after the singer and model filed a suit in federal court claiming Combs subjected her to “abuse, violence and sex trafficking” over the years. “She rejected his efforts and decided to give a voice to all woman who suffer in silence. Ms. Ventura should be applauded for her bravery.”
The statement today came after Combs’ attorney Ben Brafman responded to the filing by saying that his client “vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations.”
The former Harvey Weinstein lawyer added: “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.”
With all that between the lawyers, what Ventura alleges against the Bad Boy Entertainment founder over their 11-year personal and professional relationship in the 36-page complaint (read Ventura’s rape claim complaint here) is pretty chilling and specific:
In 2022, Mr. Combs received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BETAwards. During his acceptance speech, Mr. Combs stated, “I have to give a special shoutout, thank you, love, to the people that was really there for me.” He named a number of people, before adding, “[a]nd also Cassie, for holding me down in the dark times, love.”
The truth, however, is that Cassie—Ms. Casandra Ventura—was held down by Mr. Combs and endured over a decade of his violent behavior and disturbed demands. For Ms. Ventura, the “dark times” were those she spent trapped by Mr. Combs in a cycle of abuse, violence, and sex trafficking.
Among other violent and unlawful acts, Mr. Combs:
• Raped Ms. Ventura in her own home after she tried to leave him;
• Often punched, beat, kicked and stomped on Ms. Ventura, resulting in bruises, burst lips, black eyes and bleeding;
• Blew up a man’s car after he learned that he was romantically interested in Ms. Ventura;
• Forced Ms. Ventura to engage in sex acts with male sex workers while masturbating and filming the encounters;
• Ran out of his apartment with a firearm in pursuit of a rival industry executive whom he learned was nearby;
• Demanded that Ms. Ventura to carry his firearm in her purse just to make her uncomfortable and demonstrate how dangerous he is; and
• Introduced Ms. Ventura to a lifestyle of excessive alcohol and substance abuse and required her to procure illicit prescriptions to satisfy his own addictions.
Among all that, there is literally an explosive allegation that as well as going full Suge Knight and dangling people off balconies, Combs at one point about a decade ago threatened to blow up rapper Kid Cudi’s car for dating Ventura. “Around that time, Kid Cudi’s car exploded in his driveway,” the complaint says.
In a statement released after the eight-claim jury-trial-seeking complaint was filed, Ventura added that “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.” The Step Up 2: The Streets actress continued: “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.”
Ventura is seeking “a money judgment representing compensatory damages including consequential damages, lost wages, earning, and all other sums of money, together with interest on these amounts, according to proof” and “a money judgment for mental pain and anguish and severe emotional distress, according to proof,” as well as various unspecified damages.
Having released his first solo album in 17 years in mid-September, Combs has also been in the news more than usual of late, with his foundation giving $1 million to HBCU Jackson State University’s football team and his investment company in August donating $1 million towards financial literacy initiatives.
In September, just before The Love Album: Off The Grid dropped, Combs handed publishing and songwriting rights back to a slew of Bad Boy artists. The unconventional move came with a caveat: To get rights, Bad Boy artists past and present had to sign an NDA that prevented them from saying much about Combs or the company.
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