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Rap mogul Sean Combs sued for rape by singer Cassie

by Agence France Presse

NEW YORK, United States: Superstar rapper and music industry mogul Sean Combs was sued Thursday by the singer Cassie, who accused him of rape and physical abuse.

The hip-hop artist — also known as both Puff Daddy or Diddy — subjected the R&B singer, whose real name is Casandra Ventura, to more than a decade of coercion by physical force and drugs as well as a 2018 rape, she said in her suit, filed in federal court in Manhattan.

The suit says that Ventura met Combs in 2005, when she was 19 and he was 37.

He signed her to his label, Bad Boy Records, after which she began a romantic relationship with him.

Court documents characterized it as “an ostentatious, fast-paced, and drug-fueled lifestyle” and called Combs “a vicious, cruel, and controlling man” who wielded power over Ventura, both as her boss and as one of hip-hop’s leading figures.

In a statement to AFP, Combs’s lawyer Ben Brafman “vehemently” denied the allegations, calling them “offensive and outrageous.”

Combs accused Ventura of blackmail, saying her aim was to “tarnish” his reputation and gain a payout.

Adult Survivors Act

Combs, now 54, founded Bad Boy in 1993, and was a major figure in hip-hop’s commercialization over the course of the decades that followed. His proteges included the late Notorious B.I.G. and Mary J. Blige.

He is among hip-hop’s billionaires, not least due to his ventures in the liquor industry.

The suit describes him as a violent man, recounting disturbing scenes of his violent outbursts, including forcing Ventura to engage in sex acts with male sex workers, which she alleges Combs filmed.

Other allegations include that Combs forced Ventura to carry a firearm in her purse as a means of intimidating her and making her uncomfortable.

It also indicates that Combs blew up the car of another person interested in Ventura.

Court documents also detail that in 2018 Combs and Ventura had dinner, after which the magnate forced himself into her apartment and raped her.

The complaint says her association with Bad Boy ended in 2019.

Ventura is seeking damages including for “mental pain and anguish and severe emotional distress” as well as lost wages.

Ventura brought her case under the Adult Survivors Act, a New York law allowing alleged victims of sexual abuse to file civil suits past the statute of limitations.

Her legal team cites the law in her filing.

“Although Ms. Ventura was unable to speak up against the years of abuse she endured at the hands of Mr. Combs, she has since been able to rebuild her life and confront her trauma,” court documents say.

“Thanks to the passage of New York’s Adult Survivors’ Act and California’s Sexual Abuse Accountability and Cover-Up Act, she is now ready and able to also confront her abuser, and to hold him and those who enabled his abuse accountable for their actions.”

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