Content warning: This story discusses sexual assault and abuse.
On Nov. 16, Cassie—whose legal name is Cassandra Ventura—filed a lawsuit against the rapper in New York, accusing him of physical and sexual abuse throughout their relationship.
"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," she said in a statement to NBC News. "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."
However, an attorney for Diddy, 54, denied the accusations amid her filing. "Mr. Combs vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations," his lawyer, Ben Brafman, told E! News in a statement. "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."
E! News has reached out to reps for Cassie and Diddy—who also goes by Puff Daddy, P. Diddy and Love—for comment but hasn't heard back.
In her complaint, obtained by NBC News, Cassie, 37, alleged she was "lured" into dating Diddy after signing with his Bad Boys Records label in 2006. Citing fears of repercussions for her album deal if she rejected his advances, Cassie's lawsuit said the singer entered into "an ostentatious, fast-paced, and drug-fueled lifestyle, and into a romantic relationship with him—her boss, one of the most powerful men in the entertainment industry, and a vicious, cruel, and controlling man nearly two decades her senior."
Throughout the relationship, the suit alleged that Diddy "punched, beat, kicked and stomped on Ms. Ventura, resulting in bruises, burst lips, black eyes and bleeding," as well as forced her to engage in sex acts with male sex workers.
"Ms. Ventura was terrified, isolated, and unable to see a pathway out of Mr. Combs' abusive hold on her life," read the suit, which said that Diddy often showered Cassie with gifts following the alleged abuse. "She found herself becoming numb to the abuse she was experiencing, and became entirely beholden to Mr. Combs's demands. She began to blindly follow his instructions out of fear of again being on the receiving end of a vicious beating."
Whenever she tried to leave the relationship, Cassie's complaint said that Diddy "used his networks to find her." In one instance, Diddy allegedly "blew up a man's car after he learned that he was romantically interested in" Cassie claimed in the suit.
By 2017 and 2018, the lawsuit said Cassie "became desperate to leave" and "determined to completely break away from Mr. Combs and his cycle of abuse and made concerted efforts to avoid him." However, when she met up with him for dinner in September 2018 to discuss ending their relationship for good, Cassie's suit alleged that Diddy "forced himself into her apartment" and raped her.
"As a result of the immense trauma Ms. Ventura endured for over a decade with Mr. Combs, she has suffered and continues to suffer from immense emotional distress," the lawsuit read. "Following her escape from the cycle of abuse and sex trafficking she endured, she struggled with the physical and mental manifestations of her trauma."
Cassie is suing Diddy for sex trafficking, battery, sexual assault and subjecting her to a hostile work environment.
The "Long Way 2 Go" singer is seeking damages for mental pain and anguish, severe emotional distress as well as lost wages.
"To rebuild her life and her career, Ms. Ventura needed to completely reinvent herself," Cassie's lawsuit read. "She checked herself into inpatient treatment at a rehabilitation center, where she first confronted the extent of the trauma she lives with. She has required intensive therapy and other medical care to recover from Mr. Combs's abuse, and she will forever live with the physical and psychological repercussions of the over a decade of violence, fear, and exploitation she endured."
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