At least three artists signed to Sean “Diddy” Combs’ record label have expressed their support for their former labelmate Cassie, who accused the rapper and music mogul accused of repeated rape and abuse over nearly a decade in lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday.
Cassie, whose legal name is Casandra Ventura, and Combs had an on-again, off-again relationship for more than a decade. In the lawsuit, filed in New York, she alleged that he frequently beat her, forced her to engage in sexual acts with prostitutes (acts he called “freak-offs” and which he sometimes recorded) and, on one occasion, when She was trying to end their relationship in 2018, he broke into her house and raped her.
Ventura and combs reached an agreement in Friday’s lawsuit. In a statement, both sides said the matter was resolved amicably. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Aubrey O’Day, who was discovered by Combs on the reality show “Making the Band 3” and rose to fame as a member of the urban pop group Danity Kane, expressed her “full support for Cassie” in a statement Thursday. .
“It’s not easy to go up against one of the most powerful people in this industry,” he said. “Let her voice bring everyone else to the table, so we can start having more transparent conversations about what’s really going on behind the scenes.”
When asked specifically by NBC News if she had seen Combs abuse anyone or been abused by him, O’Day said, “I need to take a moment before I talk more about this. “There are layers.”
On Thursday, Dawn Richard, another former member of Danity Kane, saying on social media platform
“It’s been a long time since I posted anything on this platform, but today… there is a very good reason to do so,” he said. wrote early Friday, adding that Ventura is “incredibly brave for shedding light” on what he “endured in the darkness.”
Woodgett also said, “I’m sorry you had to go through this alone. I pray that you continue to grow stronger and I offer you all my support.”
Neither post expressed personal knowledge of the specific allegations against Combs. It’s unclear how well O’Day, Richard and Woodgett know the 37-year-old Ventura.
Richard and Woodgett did not immediately respond to interview requests Friday. Combs fired Woodgett and O’Day of Danity Kane in 2008 on national television.
At the time, he said O’Day needed to “humble himself” and that he believed Woods had gotten “caught up in the wrath” of O’Day.
“I love Aubrey. I don’t have any problem with her,” he said then. “I just want to work with the young woman I hired, not the person fame made her.”
Combs ‘vehemently denies’ lawsuit allegations
In the lawsuit, Ventura alleged that Combs lured her into his “flamboyant, fast-paced, drug-fueled lifestyle” shortly after she met him and signed her to his Bad Boy label in 2005, when she was 19 and he 37. The lawsuit, which describes Combs as a “vicious, cruel and controlling man” who lured Ventura into a romantic relationship and “almost immediately asserted possession and control over her,” also alleges that he harassed her with drugs.
The lawsuit includes a trigger warning for “very graphic information of a sexual nature, including sexual assault.” He alleged that he forced her to have sex with prostitutes while he masturbated and filmed them.
Attorney Ben Brafman said Combs “vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations.”
“For the past six months, Mr. Combs has been subjected to Ms. Ventura’s persistent demand for $30 million, under threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail,” he said. Brafman in a statement. “Despite withdrawing her initial threat, Ms. Ventura has now resorted to filing a lawsuit riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, with the goal of tarnishing Mr. Combs’ reputation and seeking a payday.”
In response, Douglas Wigdor, Ventura’s attorney, said the two sides had spoken before the lawsuit was filed.
“Mr. Combs offered Ms. Ventura eight figures to silence her and prevent the filing of this lawsuit,” he said. “She rejected his efforts.”
O’Day’s criticism of Combs goes back years
Combs, 54, has had names like Puff Daddy, Puffy, Diddy and Love. He founded Bad Boy in the early 1990s and produced “Making the Band” for MTV. He is considered a pioneer of hip-hop, fashion and media, as he created the Sean John clothing line and launched the Revolt television channel. Combs’ net worth has been estimated at $1 billion.
O’Day would challenge him on the reality show “Making the Band” and has been openly critical of him for years.
In September, after Combs announced he was returning publishing rights to Bad Boy artists, O’Day said, “As I got older, I let go of a lot of trauma and learned to really appreciate it.” some of the most beautiful and personal moments I have had with him,” referring to Combs, during a episode from the “Only Stans” podcast.
He also said he was being offered “a few hundred dollars” to give up his rights to reveal what he experienced as a member of Danity Kane and “to remain silent” about Combs.
As part of the agreement, he said, he would be required to release Combs “for any claims, wrongdoings or actions prior to the release date” and sign a confidentiality agreement stating that he would never publicly disparage him or his family. mother, Janice Combs; his son, Justin Combs; Bad boy; EMI or Sony.
Representatives for Combs did not provide NBC News with any comment for this article.
“I just wish Puff would do what he says he’s doing. I wish he would pay us what we deserved for all the work we did. And I wish he would correct his mistakes,” O’Day said in September. “At the end of the day, I urge everyone to think about the headline versus the truth and really what this seems to be is a way to silence a lot of people. And what would be the motivation to do that?
“I think we’ll soon learn what it is,” he added.