Renowned R&B singer Cassie, whose real name is Casandra Ventura, has filed a federal lawsuit against Sean Combs, also known as Puff Daddy or Diddy, alleging rape and a persistent pattern of physical abuse spanning approximately ten years. The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, claims that Combs subjected Cassie to control, drug abuse, and forced sexual encounters with male prostitutes.
The suit details Cassie’s encounters with Combs, beginning in 2005 when she was 19 years old. It asserts that Combs established an alarming level of control over her life, from career decisions to personal matters. Cassie alleges that Combs provided her with drugs, including ecstasy and ketamine, and subjected her to physical abuse multiple times each year.
In 2018, the lawsuit claims that Combs forced his way into Cassie’s home and raped her, marking the end of their relationship. In response to the allegations, Cassie released a statement, saying:
“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.”
Sean Combs has vehemently denied the accusations through his lawyer, Ben Brafman, stating that the claims are offensive and outrageous. Brafman contends that Cassie had demanded $30 million over the past six months, under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which Combs rejected as blatant blackmail. Despite withdrawing her initial threat, Cassie chose to file the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also implicates others who worked with Combs, alleging that they assisted in controlling Cassie and concealing Combs’s behavior. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
Cassie’s case is the latest in a series of sexual assault lawsuits within the music industry, including those against Steven Tyler, L.A. Reid, and Neil Portnow. Combs, a prominent figure in the commercialization of hip-hop and founder of Bad Boy in 1993, is portrayed in the lawsuit as a violent person who not only assaulted Cassie but engaged in threatening and controlling behavior.
The lawsuit is brought under the Adult Survivors Act, a New York law allowing victims of sexual abuse to file civil suits after the statute of limitations has expired. Cassie emphasized the importance of the law, stating, “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.” The one-year window to bring cases under this law ends next week.