Surveillance Footage Sparks Outcry as Sean "Diddy" Combs Admits to Assault

Sean "Diddy" Combs Apologizes for Assaulting Cassie Ventura After Video Emerges

by Faruk Imamovic
Surveillance Footage Sparks Outcry as Sean "Diddy" Combs Admits to Assault
© Getty Images/Jemal Countess

Sean "Diddy" Combs, a prominent figure in the music industry, recently issued a public apology following the release of a surveillance video that showed him physically assaulting his then-girlfriend, Cassie Ventura, in 2016. The footage, exclusively obtained by CNN, sparked a significant backlash and brought to light serious allegations previously made against Combs.

The Incident and Initial Reactions

The video, published by CNN just before 1 p.m. ET on a Friday, captures Combs grabbing, shoving, dragging, and kicking Ventura during an altercation at the now-closed InterContinental Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles. This incident aligns with allegations Ventura made in a federal lawsuit filed in November, which has since been settled. At the time of the video’s release, Combs' representatives had not responded to requests for comment.

Nearly 48 hours of silence ensued as Combs faced mounting criticism on social media and a media storm. The influential music mogul, known for founding the Bad Boy music label in 1993, finally broke his silence with an Instagram video posted around 11 a.m. ET on Sunday. In the video, Combs acknowledged his actions, expressing remorse and taking full responsibility.

“It’s so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you got to do that,” Combs stated. “I was [...] — I hit rock bottom — but I make no excuses. My behavior on that video is inexcusable.”

Combs, without mentioning Ventura by name, continued, “I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I am disgusted. I was disgusted then when I did it. I’m disgusted now.”


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Reactions from Ventura and Legal Representatives

Following Combs’ apology, Ventura's attorney, Meredith Firetog, released a statement criticizing Combs' response. “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.”

Ventura's November lawsuit, which described years of abuse, including rape in 2018, painted a harrowing picture of her relationship with Combs. The complaint detailed multiple instances of physical violence and coercion, such as an altercation in March 2016 where Combs allegedly punched Ventura, giving her a black eye, and threw glass vases at her in a hotel hallway. The complaint also alleged that Combs paid $50,000 to the InterContinental Century City for the hallway security footage.

In response to these allegations, Combs’ attorney, Ben Brafman, issued a strong denial, calling the claims “offensive and outrageous” and asserting that the settlement of Ventura’s lawsuit was not an admission of wrongdoing.

The Surveillance Footage and Its Impact

The surveillance footage released by CNN shows Ventura exiting a hotel room and walking towards the elevators, followed by Combs, who grabs her by the neck and throws her to the floor. He then kicks her twice and drags her by her sweatshirt before walking away. Ventura is later seen standing up, gathering her belongings, and attempting to use a hallway phone when Combs returns and appears to shove her again.

The video’s release has intensified public scrutiny and outrage. Ventura’s other attorney, Douglas H. Wigdor, expressed the gravity of the situation in a statement: “The gut-wrenching video has only further confirmed the disturbing and predatory behavior of Mr. Combs. Words cannot express the courage and fortitude that Ms. Ventura has shown in coming forward to bring this to light.”

Cassie Ventura (L) and Sean Diddy Combs (R)
Cassie Ventura (L) and Sean Diddy Combs (R)© Getty Images/Nicholas Hunt

Public and Legal Responses

Following the video’s release, there was an outpouring of support for Ventura on social media, with many users highlighting her bravery and using her story to advocate for other victims of domestic violence. However, Combs faced widespread condemnation, including from former associates like Aubrey O’Day of Danity Kane, a group formed by Combs in 2005.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles Police Department acknowledged the video but indicated that the statute of limitations for prosecuting the alleged assault had passed. Both agencies emphasized the importance of reporting such crimes and offered support to victims.

In a poignant response, Ventura’s husband, personal trainer Alex Fine, posted a “letter to women and children” on Instagram. He condemned men who abuse women and those who enable such behavior, urging men to protect and respect the women in their lives. Fine also provided the National Domestic Violence hotline number, underscoring the broader implications of the issue and his support for victims.

Combs' Commitment to Change

In his Instagram apology, Combs mentioned that he sought professional help through therapy and rehab and asked for mercy and grace from God. “I’m committed to being a better man each and every day. I’m not asking for forgiveness. I’m truly sorry,” he concluded.

Despite Combs' statements, the repercussions of the newly surfaced footage and the allegations against him continue to reverberate. The incident has reignited discussions about domestic violence, accountability, and the complexities of fame and power.