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Cassie accuses Sean 'Diddy' Combs of rape and years of abuse in new lawsuit

The lawsuit says Sean "Diddy" Combs pursued her as a 19-year-old who was signed to his label.
/ Source: TODAY

Content warning: This story contains allegations of rape and abuse.

Music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs faced a lawsuit filed by singer Cassie Ventura that accused Combs of using his position of power as a music executive and wealth to abuse Ventura for nearly 10 years.

A day after it was filed, the two reached a settlement on Nov. 17.

“I have decided to resolve this matter amicably on terms that I have some level of control,” Ventura said in a statement. “I want to thank my family, fans and lawyers for their unwavering support.”

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The attorney for Combs said in a statement on Nov. 18 that the decision to settle "is in no way an admission of wrongdoing.”

“I wish Cassie and her family all the best. Love,” Combs said in a statement.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, said Combs pursued her as a 19-year-old who was signed to his label. What followed, she says, was a decade of abuse amid an "ostentatious, fast-paced, and drug-fueled lifestyle."

"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 to NBC News after filing the lawsuit.

The following are accusations Ventura made against Combs in the 35-page complaint, all of which Combs denied.

Accusations of physical abuse

Ventura alleged that Combs was "prone to uncontrollable rage" during their relationship and "frequently beat Ms. Ventura savagely," the lawsuit said.

The physical abuse continued over the course of a decade and occurred multiple times a year. Combs would leave bruises on Ventura and then hide her in hotels for days to let them heal in order to conceal the effects of the abuse, the lawsuit said.

She cited one instance in which he allegedly kicked and hit her in a Cadillac Escalade after a party with rapper Jay-Z.

Ventura also alleged that in a 2009 incident, Combs pushed her into a corner of a vehicle and started "stomping on her face" after learning she had spoken to another music manager at a party in Los Angeles. She was "bleeding profusely" and began throwing up from the assault, the lawsuit said.

Allegations about a gun and drugs

Combs demanded that Ventura hold his gun in her purse on two occasions, the lawsuit said

“Ms. Ventura had no familiarity with guns and was petrified that the firearm would accidentally go off in her purse,” her lawyers said in the suit.

The rap mogul also introduced Ventura to a “drug-fueled lifestyle,” including introducing her to opiates in 2008. He demanded she procure prescription painkillers in her own name to satisfy his addiction, the lawsuit said.

Sexual acts against Ventura's will

Ventura alleged in the lawsuit that, within a few months of the beginning of their relationship, Combs directed her to perform sex acts with a man hired by Combs while he watched and masturbated.

Combs called the arrangement a “Freak Off,” or “FO." He would tell Ventura he wanted an "FO," and expected her to arrange the location and the hiring of male sex workers, the suit said.

At one point he wanted them weekly and had them set up at various luxury hotels in multiple cities, court documents say. Ventura alleged that she was given ecstasy, cocaine, GHB, ketamine, marijuana, and alcohol in excessive amounts during these encounters, which Combs often filmed, the documents said.

During one at a hotel in Los Angeles in 2016, Combs punched Ventura in the face and gave her a black eye, the filing says. When she tried to leave the room when he was asleep, Combs "took glass vases in the hallway and threw them at her, causing glass to crash around them as she ran to the elevator to escape," the filing stated.

Ventura alleged that Combs later paid the hotel $50,000 for the hallway security footage from that evening.

Blowing up the car of a romantic rival

Ventura had a brief relationship with rapper Kid Cudi in 2011 during a "rough patch" in her relationship with Combs, the lawsuit said. Combs found emails on Ventura's phone between her and Kid Cudi, became enraged, and then placed a corkscrew between his fingers and lunged at her, the filing said.

Combs then told Ventura during Paris Fashion Week in 2012 that he was going to blow up Cudi's car, and around that time, Cudi's car exploded in his driveway, the filing ssaid.

Cudi did not respond to’s request for comment.

An accusation of rape

Ventura alleged in the lawsuit that after a dinner in September 2018 in which she tried to end their relationship, Combs forced himself into her apartment and raped her while she tried to push him away.

The singer said she "continues to suffer from immense emotional distress" and that she has struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol due to her relationship with Combs, according to the suit.

Combs' response to Ventura’s lawsuit

Combs — who has been active in the music scene for decades and previously gone by the names Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, and Diddy — has denied any wrongdoing.

Before the settlement, Combs' attorney, Ben Brafman, gave NBC News the following statement:

“Mr. Combs vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations. 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.”

Before the settlement, Ventura's lawyer, Douglas Wigdor, sent the following response to Brafman's comments:

Mr. Comb’s offered Ms. Ventura eight figures to silence her and prevent the filing of this lawsuit. 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.”

Sean "Diddy" Combs and Cassie Ventura attend the GQ Men of the Year Party at Chateau Marmont on November 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
Sean "Diddy" Combs and Cassie Ventura attend the GQ Men of the Year Party at Chateau Marmont on Nov. 13, 2012 in Los Angeles.Jeff Vespa / Getty Images

What was the lawsuit asking?

Ventura says that she "required intensive medical and psychological care" following the trauma of her relationship with Combs, though she has since married and welcomed two children.

"She cannot, however, continue to live in silence about what she endured. Mr. Combs remains immensely powerful, and immensely dangerous," the suit alleges. "Ms. Ventura therefore seeks justice for the decade of her life that Mr. Combs took away from her with threats of violence, excessive use of drugs, physical and psychological abuse, and sexual slavery."

She was seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit.

Why did Ventura file the lawsuit now?

Ventura’s lawsuit says she was “unable to speak up against the years of abuse she endured,” but that she is now able to address the trauma. The lawsuit was brought through the Adult Survivors Act. The New York law allows people who say they were victims of sexual abuse to file civil suits after the statute of limitations has expired.

The one-year window that allowed people to file cases under the law expired a week after she filed the lawsuit.

In her statement, she cited the law:

"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."