Sean Combs Accused of Rape in Lawsuit Filed by Former Bad Boy Recording Artist Cassie

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Sean Combs has been sued in federal court by Casandra Ventura, who once recorded for his Bad Boy label as Cassie, with the singer alleging that the music mogul raped and beat her over a period of a decade.

In response, Combs’ team is characterizing the suit as the result of an unsuccessful shakedown attempt.

The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. It names Bad Boy Records and other companies affiliated with Combs as complicit in the alleged abuse.

“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 released by her legal team, Douglas H. Wigdor, Meredith A. Firetog and Michael J. Willemin of Wigdor LLP. “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.”

The suit was filed with only a week to go before the Adult Survivors Act, which allowed for an exemption to the statute of limitations, expires on Nov. 23.

Combs’ lawyer Ben Brafman denies the allegations, saying in a statement: “Mr. Combs vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations. 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.”

One of Ventura’s attorneys, Wigdor, responded to Brafman’s statement by claiming that Combs offered 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.”

The complaint filed by Ventura, who was long known as Combs’ romantic partner as well as a protege, says that she was 19 when she began a professional and sexual relationship by Combs, who signed her to Bad Boy.  A statement from her lawyers says he “plied the vulnerable Ms. Ventura with drugs and alcohol, causing her to fall into dangerous addictions that controlled her life,” and “was a serial domestic abuser, who would regularly beat and kick Ms. Ventura, leaving black eyes, bruises, and blood.”

The suit contends Combs forced Ventura to engage in sexual intercourse with male prostitutes, while he allegedly masturbated and recorded the sex acts. 

Wigdor further said in a statement: “No human should have to endure what Ms. Ventura has endured.  Her ability and willingness to speak up against the abuse she suffered, and seeking to hold accountable her abuser and those who enabled the abuse, is a testament to her strength and resilience.  We are honored to represent this brave victim in her pursuit of justice.”

Bad Boy released Cassie’s sole album to date in 2006. Her song “Me & U” was a hit, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

One allegation in the suit is the contention that Combs threatened to blow up Kid Cudi’s car while Ventura was dating the rapper — and that subsequently Kid Cudi’s car did explode in his driveway. In a statement given to the New York Times, Kid Cudi said the allegation in the lawsuit was accurate: “This is all true,” he said.

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