WARNING: This article contains graphic content and may affect those who have experienced sexual violence or know someone who has.
A lawsuit filed by singer Cassie containing allegations of battery and abuse by music producer Sean “Diddy” Combs has been settled, the artists announced Friday, a day after the lawsuit was filed.
The settlement was announced in a statement sent by attorney Douglas Wigdor, who represents Cassie, whose full name is Casandra Ventura.
The statement said they reached an agreement “to their mutual satisfaction” Friday evening, but no terms of the agreement were disclosed and no further statements will be released beyond those made by Ventura, Combs and Wigdor in the email distributed by the lawyer.
In his statement, Ventura said: “I have decided to resolve this matter amicably on terms that I have some level of control. I would like to thank my family, fans and attorneys for their continued support .”
Combs said: “We have decided to resolve this matter amicably. I wish Cassie and her family all the best. Love.”
Ben Brafman, Combs’ attorney, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. On Thursday, he said in a statement that Combs “vehemently denies” the allegations.
The lawsuit alleged that Combs lured the singer into his “ostentatious, fast-paced, drug-fueled lifestyle” shortly after she met him and signed to his label in 2005, when she was 19 and he is 37.
Ventura, now 37, said Combs, now 54, began engaging in abuse early in their on-and-off relationship in 2007.
The lawsuit alleged that, “prone to uncontrollable rage,” Combs subjected Ventura to “savage” beatings during which he punched, kicked and kicked her. He alleges he gave her drugs and forced her to have sex with other men while he masturbated and filmed them.
2018 sexual assault allegation
According to the lawsuit, as Ventura attempted to end the relationship in 2018, Combs forced her into his Los Angeles home and raped her.
The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they were sexually abused unless they come forward publicly as Ventura did.
Combs is one of the most influential hip-hop producers and executives of the last three decades. Founder of Bad Boy Records and three-time Grammy winner, he has worked with many A-list artists, including Notorious BIG, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lil Kim, Faith Evans and 112.
This year he released his fifth studio album, The Love Album: Off the Grid, which earned two Grammy nominations this month. It was his first studio album in 17 years.
“The bad boy of entertainment gets the key to the city from the bad boy of politics!” said New York Mayor Eric Adams in September, handing over a giant key to Combs in Times Square. Combs was born in New York and raised in nearby Mount Vernon.
Ventura rose to fame with the hit single produced by Ryan Leslie Me and you, which reached number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in 2006. It was her only studio album. As an actress, she has appeared in several projects, including Fox’s Empire, Step Up 2: The Streets And Spenser Confidential.
Brafman’s statement Thursday said Ventura had persistently demanded, over the past six months, US$30 million while threatening to write a damaging book about his relationship with Combs. The lawyer said the demands were dismissed as “blatant blackmail”.
Ventura withdrew his initial threat before filing a lawsuit “riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aimed at tarnishing Mr. Combs’ reputation and seeking payback,” Brafman said.
Wigdor responded in a statement Thursday saying Combs offered her “eight figures to silence her” and prevent a complaint from being filed.
“She rejected his efforts and decided to give a voice to all women who suffer in silence,” Wigdor said.
Wigdor praised his client in a statement included in his email announcing the settlement Friday.
“I am very proud that Ms. Ventura had the strength to go public with her trial. She deserves to be congratulated for doing so,” he said.
Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access local crisis lines and support services through this Government of Canada website or the Canadian Association to End Violence Database. If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.