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Cassie Breaks Silence After Sean Combs Attack Video: ‘Believe Victims the First Time’

Cassie broke her silence after unearthed footage shows Sean Combs attacking her in a hotel hallway, urging people to “open your heart to believing victims the first time”

Sean Combs and Cassie

Jeff Vespa

Cassie has broken her silence to express her gratitude for the “outpouring” of support she received in the wake of unearthed hotel surveillance video showing Sean “Diddy” Combs physically attacking her in 2016, reminding people to “open your heart to believing victims the first time.”

The R&B singer, whose real name is Casandra Ventura, addressed the video on Thursday morning, nearly a week after CNN published the disturbing footage where a towel-clad and barefoot Combs is seen chasing after her down a hallway. The hip-hop mogul throws Ventura to the ground, kicks, and stomps her before attempting to drag her back to the hotel room.

The attack is the same 2016 incident that Ventura detailed in her sex trafficking lawsuit from November. Ventura noted in her complaint that video of the alleged attack existed and that she believed Combs had paid someone at the hotel $50,000 for the footage.

“Thank you for all of the love and support from my family, friends, strangers and those I have yet to meet,” Ventura wrote on Instagram. “The outpouring of love has created a place for my younger self to settle and feel safe now, but this is only the beginning. Domestic Violence is THE issue. It broke me down to someone I never thought I would become. With a lot of hard work, I am better today, but I will always be recovering from my past.

“Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to take this matter seriously,” she added. “My only ask is that EVERYONE open your heart to believing victims the first time. It takes a lot of heart to tell the truth out of a situation that you were powerless in. I offer my hand to those that are still living in fear. Reach out to your people, don’t cut them off. No one should carry this weight alone. This healing journey is never ending, but this support means everything to me.”

Although Combs initially slammed Ventura’s lawsuit and its claims as “riddled with baseless and outrageous lies,” Combs admitted to this one instance of physical abuse once the video went public. He said he was at “rock bottom” and called his behavior “inexcusable.” (Combs and Ventura came to a private settlement a day after she filed her lawsuit.)

“It’s so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you gotta do that,” Combs said in a video apology posted on Sunday. “I was fucked up, I mean, I hit rock bottom, and 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 and I’m disgusted now. I went, and I sought out professional help. Had to go into therapy, go into rehab, had to ask God for his mercy and grace. I’m so sorry, but I’m committed to being a better man each and every day. I’m not asking for forgiveness. I’m truly sorry.”

Ventura’s attorney, Meredith Firetog, a partner at Wigdor LLP, said in a statement to Rolling Stone following Combs’ apology, “Combs’ most recent statement is more about himself than the many people he has hurt.  When Cassie and multiple other women came forward, he denied everything and suggested that his victims were looking for a payday.  That he was only compelled to ‘apologize’ once his repeated denials were proven false shows his pathetic desperation, and no one will be swayed by his disingenuous words.”

The security footage, which has no sound and is dated March 5, 2016, shows a barefoot Ventura quickly walking out from a hotel room with personal items in her hand. Seconds later, a nearly naked Combs sprints down the hallway after her. Finding Ventura waiting for the elevator, he forcibly grabs her by the back of her sweater, throws her to the ground, and kicks her. As Ventura lies on the floor in a fetal position, Combs picks up her bags and kicks her again. He begins to drag her back towards the hotel room as Ventura appears to cry out.

Combs lets Ventura go, and he proceeds to carry her bags back to the hotel room as she waits near the elevator. Combs then returns and appears to shove her and throw a glass object toward her.

The hotel incident is one of numerous instances in which Ventura claimed that Combs was physically abusive to her during their 10-year relationship, which began when she was an emerging singer signed to Combs’ label Bad Boy Records. The couple’s relationship ended for good in September 2018, shortly after Ventura alleged Combs raped her inside her home.

In the wake of Ventura’s lawsuit, four more women and a man accused Combs of sexual abuse. Joi Dickerson-Neal claimed Combs drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1991. She claimed Combs filmed the incident and showed the video to others in an act described as “revenge porn.” Through a rep, Combs denied the allegation, saying, “[this] 32-year-old story is made up and not credible.”

Liza Gardner claimed she was 16 years old when Combs and singer-songwriter Aaron Hall took turns raping her following an Uptown Records event in 1990. She further claimed that Combs later began “assaulting and choking” her until she almost “passed out” because he was worried she might divulge what happened. “These are fabricated claims falsely alleging misconduct from over 30 years ago and filed at the last minute,” a Combs spokesperson said of Gardner’s lawsuit. “This is nothing but a money grab.”

A Jane Doe from Detroit claimed Combs, former Bad Boy President Harve Pierre, and a third man gang raped her at Combs’ New York recording studio in 2003 when she was 17 years old. In February, music producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones sued Combs for sexual assault, harassment, and not compensating him for work on the Grammy-nominated The Love Album. Combs’ representatives denied the allegations in both cases. And this week, model Crystal McKinney became the sixth person to sue Combs within a span of six months. She claimed Combs drugged her and forced her to perform oral sex on him at his New York recording studio in 2003.

After the repeated lawsuits, Homeland Security agents and local law enforcement officers raided Combs’ residences in Miami and Los Angeles on March 25 as part of a federal sex trafficking investigation.

Combs has denied any wrongdoing in each case. Still, he stepped down from the chairmanship of his Revolt TV media company last year as more than a dozen companies fled his e-commerce platform. In January, liquor giant Diageo cut him loose in a private settlement under which Combs will no longer be a joint owner of the tequila brand DeLeón or have any ties to Cîroc vodka.

From Rolling Stone US