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Sean Combs Claims ‘Full Responsibility’ for Cassie Assault in Video Apology: ‘I Make No Excuses’

“I was disgusted then when I did it and I’m disgusted now,” Combs says after 2016 hotel surveillance video surfaces

Sean "Diddy" Combs

Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images for Sean "Diddy" Combs

Sean “Diddy” Combs posted a short apology video Sunday morning, two days after a harrowing hotel surveillance video showed him assaulting his ex-girlfriend Casandra “Cassie” Ventura. Looking directly at a camera, the mogul says he was at his “rock bottom” when he attacked Ventura in the hallway of the InterContinental Hotel in Los Angeles in 2016. In the surveillance video, obtained by CNN, Combs is seen throwing, kicking, stomping and dragging Ventura.

“It’s so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you gotta do that,” Combs says in the apology video. “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.”

Meredith Firetog, a partner at Wigdor LLP which represents Cassie, said in a statement to Rolling Stone Sunday 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 surveillance footage that prompted Combs’ apology corroborated an allegation of physical abuse that Ventura included in her sex trafficking lawsuit filed last November. Combs’ lawyer initially responded to the lawsuit by claiming it was “riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aiming to tarnish Mr. Combs’s reputation and seeking a payday.” The parties reached a settlement within 24 hours. Combs’ lawyer then issued a follow-up denial a day after the private pact was reached. “Just so we’re clear, a decision to settle a lawsuit, especially in 2023, is in no way an admission of wrongdoing,” the lawyer, Ben Brafman, said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “Mr. Combs’ decision to settle the lawsuit does not in any way undermine his flat-out denial of the claims.”

On Friday, Ventura’s lawyer, Douglas Wigdor, said the “gut-wrenching” hotel surveillance video “has only further confirmed the disturbing and predatory behavior of Mr. Combs.” He added: “Words cannot express the courage and fortitude that Ms. Ventura has shown in coming forward to bring this to light.”

The security footage, which has no sound, shows a barefoot Ventura quickly walking out from a hotel room with personal items in her hand while wearing an oversized hoodie. Seconds later, a towel-clad Combs chases down the hallway after her. Finding Ventura waiting for the elevator, he forcibly grabs her by the back of her hoodie and throws her to the ground and kicks her. As Ventura lies on the floor, motionless in a fetal position, Combs picks up her bags and stomps her. He then begins to drag her back towards the hotel room as Ventura appears to cry out.

Combs lets Ventura go and 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 hurl an object he grabbed from a nearby table.

In her lawsuit, Ventura said she eventually “managed to get into the elevator, and when she got to the lobby, quickly took a cab to her apartment. Upon realizing that her running away would cause Mr. Combs to be even angrier with her, and completely stuck in his vicious cycle of abuse, Ms. Ventura returned to the hotel with the intention of apologizing for running away from her abuser.”

The hotel incident is one of numerous instances Ventura claimed that Combs was physically abusive 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 alleges Combs raped her inside her home.

In the lawsuit’s wake, three 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 woman 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. And 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.

From Rolling Stone US