Almost immediately after one of Diddy’s exes, Cassie Ventura, submitted a 35-page filing alleging sexual abuse, sexual battery, rape and creating a hostile work environment over a period of years against the musician and producer, TMZ is reporting that he is already the subject of a “secret” NYPD criminal investigation that is locked due to its sensitivity.
According to the filing, Cassie says that over the course of their decade-long relationship, which first began in 2005 and later became romantic, she was forced to take drugs, experienced sex trafficking and multiple instances of domestic violence.
“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,” read a statement she released. “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.”
I first wrote about Diddy’s troubling pattern of rumoured abuse in 2022, which included a firsthand account from a model named Gina Huynh, who said she suffered emotional, physical and mental abuse while with him, plus fans have resurfaced a 2004 interview in which he threatened to hit Kimora Lee Simmons. And despite just how troubling Gina’s allegations are, what Cassie is alleging is just deplorable.
Cassie says there were multiple occasions where he would beat and kick her. And when she was bruised, he would hide her in hotels until the physical evidence of his abuse faded away. She alleges she dealt with “uncontrollable rage” and says there were witnesses to the beatings.
Cassie says that Diddy became so enraged when he found out that she was dating Kid Cudi during one of their breaks in 2012 that he blew up his car in his driveway. Through a spokesperson, Kid Cudi told the New York Times that Cassie’s account was “all true”.
Beyond Kid Cudi, several celebrities are offering their support to Cassie, including members of Danity Kane, a group that Diddy established as part of his show Making the Band. Azealia Banks also spoke out on social media expressing support for Cassie, writing:
"THIS IS TRUE. One time Diddy beat her up so bad he sent her on a 3-week ‘vacation' to Hawaii, just so no one would see or question how her face got like that."
Cassie also made the disturbing allegation of being a victim of sex trafficking. She says he forced her to participate in "intricately staged and forced sexual encounters" with male sex workers, to which he would watch, film and masturbate. He called these “freak offs” and required Cassie to facilitate the hiring of these sex workers.
Of course, Diddy’s attorney slammed the allegations, calling Cassie’s claims “offensive and outrageous”, and said she’s “seeking a pay day.” Diddy’s team says that for the past six months, Cassie has been demanding $30 million from Diddy and threatening to write a “damaging” book about their relationship. It’s a very common response in situations where women with less wealth and success make allegations against men with Diddy’s accolades.
Needless to say, here comes the DARVO. His team’s already crossed off denying and attacking, and I wouldn’t be surprised if, within the coming days or weeks, we see the reversal of the victim and offender. We saw it with Darius Jackson’s response to Keke Palmer’s allegations when he released audio of a phone call between him, Keke and Mama Sharon, and revealed that she threatened to “put a bullet” in him.
In recent months, and beyond Gina’s allegations, we’ve also heard from women like Amber Heard, Grace Jabbari, Keke, and now, Cassie, about abuse they say they suffered at the hands of men. What separates Cassie and Keke’s cases is the power imbalance between the abusers and their victims. In my article about Keke and Darius, I wrote that despite her wealth, success and persona, she still suffered.
With Cassie, she is going up against a billionaire and definitively, one of the wealthiest, most influential men in the entertainment industry. Not that Keke’s case wasn’t horrifying enough, but the fact that she was the breadwinner in that relationship could give her a bit of financial advantage over Darius, since, last we heard, he was a personal trainer at a gym. That’s not the case with Cassie.
According to Cassie, Diddy knew how to leverage his power and influence. At 19, she went from being an artist under his label, Bad Boy Records, to being his girlfriend, despite the 18-year age difference. We saw him do this with JLo, too, when a romantic relationship blossomed out of their business relationship.
As much as I want to believe that the publicity these cases are getting is indicative of a change coming to how we handle abusers in society, particularly when they’re in the public eye. But despite the #MeToo movement, cases like this beg the question of whether we’re really seeing any progress.
I think it speaks to the parasocial relationships we often establish with celebrities. We think that because we know their songs or their movies, that we know them, and clearly, it couldn’t be further from the truth. It also speaks to the power they have over fans, and ultimately, women like Cassie, who was a young, aspiring musician. Her career could have and should have gone so much further than it did. Under Bad Boy, she only released one album before going on to endure what appears to be 12 horrifying years of abuse.
In addition to the obvious trauma abuse victims endure, there are also the invisible signs of abuse as well. They’re kind of like the imagined consequences, like what could have been. How do you measure something like that? Visible signs are so often used to measure the devastation of abuse – the bruising, the cuts, even things like police reports. It’s the tangibility of it all. But when abusers rob their victims of the intangible, everything from career opportunities to sobriety to hope – it’s just another layer of unspeakable devastation.