Casandra Ventura, who’s best known as the R&B singer Cassie, has filed a lawsuit against hip-hop mogul Sean Combs, alleging he raped and physically abused her over the course of a decade. The suit, obtained by Rolling Stone, claims that the abuse began in 2005 when Combs allegedly began plying a then 19-year-old Ventura with alcohol and drugs. Ventura also accuses Combs of beating her and forcing her to have sex with male prostitutes, which she claims he filmed while masturbating. In 2018, she alleges he raped her after forcing his way into her home.
Ventura’s lawyer filed the suit Thursday in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Combs’ label, Bad Boy Entertainment, as well as Epic Records, Combs Enterprises, LLC, and others are listed as codefendants.
“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,” Ventura said in a statement. “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.”
Combs’ lawyer, Ben Brafman, provided a statement to Rolling Stone denying the allegations. “Mr. Combs vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations,” he said. “For the past six months, Mr. Combs has been subjected to Ms. Ventura’s persistent demand of $30 million, under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail. Despite withdrawing her initial threat, Ms. Ventura has now resorted to filing a lawsuit riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aiming to tarnish Mr. Combs’s reputation and seeking a payday.”
A bullet-pointed list of Combs’ alleged offenses in the 35-page filing includes that he raped Ventura when she tried to leave him, that he “often punched, beat, kicked and stomped” on her, that he blew up a car that belonged to a man he thought was interested in the singer, that he ran after a rival industry exec with a firearm, that he asked Ventura to carry his firearm to intimidate her, and that he introduced her to “a lifestyle of excessive alcohol and substance abuse and required her to procure illicit prescriptions to satisfy his own addictions.”
Douglas Wigdor, one of the attorneys representing Ventura, responded by saying: “Mr. Combs offered Ms. Ventura eight figures to silence her and prevent the filing of this lawsuit. She rejected his efforts and decided to give a voice to all woman who suffer in silence. Ms. Ventura should be applauded for her bravery.”
This story is still developing...