Casandra Ventura, who performed as Cassie, filed suit against Combs on Thursday in Manhattan federal court. The lawsuit, which comes with a trigger warning at the top, lays out a breathtaking array of alleged violent behavior by Combs and his “ostentatious, fast-paced, and drug-fueled lifestyle.”
He was not only Ventura’s romantic partner, but also “her boss, one of the most powerful men in the entertainment industry, and a vicious, cruel, and controlling man nearly two decades her senior,” the suit states.
Ventura’s complaint opens with a description of Combs receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2022 BET Awards, citing his acceptance speech.
“I have to give a special shoutout, thank you, love, to the people that was really there for me,” he said, specifically calling out “Cassie, for holding me down in the dark times, love.”
But, according to the complaint, Ventura “was held down by Mr. Combs and endured over a decade of his violent behavior and disturbed demands.” She suffered through a “cycle of abuse, violence, and sex trafficking,” the complaint goes on, detailing “violent and unlawful acts” Ventura says included being raped as payback for trying to leave Combs, and being punched, kicked, and stomped by him on a regular basis.
Combs allegedly once threatened to blow up a car belonging to Kid Cudi—with whom Ventura had had a brief fling during a “rough patch” in her relationship with Combs—after which the rapper’s vehicle exploded in his driveway. And among other things, he forced her into encounters with male sex workers while he filmed the goings-on, and made Ventura carry his gun in her purse “just to make her uncomfortable and demonstrate how dangerous he is,” the complaint contends.
“After years in silence and darkness,” Ventura said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “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.”
In a statement on behalf of Combs, attorney Ben Brafman called the allegations “offensive and outrageous.” He said Ventura had been trying to “blackmail” Combs for $30 million, threatening to write a book about the abuse, which his client “unequivocally rejected.”
But Douglas Wigdor, Ventura’s lawyer, countered Brafman’s claim, saying, “Mr. Comb’s 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.”
Through a spokesperson, Kid Cudi told The New York Times that Ventura’s account of the attack on his car was “all true.”
Shortly after Combs and Ventura began their relationship, he said he was interested in “voyeurism” and told the then-22-year-old Ventura that it would “turn him on” to see her engage “with another dick.” (Combs was 40 at the time.)
“The first time, Mr. Combs hired a man and brought the man to his home in Los Angeles,“ the complaint says. “The man, Mr. Combs, and Ms. Ventura wore masquerade masks, and ingested drugs. Mr. Combs directed Ms. Ventura to perform sexual acts with this man while Mr. Combs watched them. He masturbated while he directed Ms. Ventura and the man to do specific sexual acts. The entire encounter lasted multiple days.”
Combs called this type of arrangement a “Freak Off,” or “FO,” according to the complaint, which says Combs eventually came to expect weekly FOs. They took place at hotels, including the Trump International Hotel in Manhattan, L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, the Beverly Hills Hotel, Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, InterContinentals in Century City, Atlanta, and New York, and Miami’s venerable Fontainebleau.
At the same time, Combs—as evidenced by the Kid Cudi episode—became enraged when other men paid attention to Ventura, or vice-versa, the complaint alleges.
“In 2015, Ms. Ventura spoke to a popular music manager at an after party in a hotel suite in Las Vegas,” it says. “Mr. Combs saw her speaking to this manager, and sternly told her to step into the bedroom adjoining the suite. In the bedroom, Mr. Combs beat Ms. Ventura severely. She ran from corner to corner of the room, trying to avoid Mr. Combs’s beating and kicking. When she tried to lock herself in the bathroom, he pushed through, and punched and kicked her while she curled up under the toilet. Her screams were drowned out by the loud music playing in the outside area of the hotel suite.”
Ventura says she wound up with two black eyes, a burst and bruised lip, and a large welt on her forehead. According to the complaint, Combs told her that she needed to “put more makeup on, my son can’t see you like that.”
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