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Sean Combs apologizes for 'my actions in that video' that appeared to show an assault

Sean "Diddy" Combs is pictured at the CBS Radford Studio Center in 2018 in Los Angeles. On Sunday, Combs apologized for his actions in a video that appears to show him beating his former singing protege and girlfriend Cassie Ventura in a Los Angeles hotel in 2016.
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Sean "Diddy" Combs is pictured at the CBS Radford Studio Center in 2018 in Los Angeles. On Sunday, Combs apologized for his actions in a video that appears to show him beating his former singing protege and girlfriend Cassie Ventura in a Los Angeles hotel in 2016.

Hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs issued an apology on Sunday, two days after the release of a video which appeared to show him beating then-girlfriend Cassie Ventura.

"It's so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you got to do that," Combs says in a video posted to Instagram. "I was f----- up — I mean, I hit rock bottom — but I make no excuses."

The video, which was obtained and published by CNN on Friday, allegedly shows Combs grabbing, throwing, kicking and dragging Ventura in a hotel hallway, and throwing an object at her.

CNN reported that the video was recorded at the now-closed InterContinental Hotel in Century City on March 5, 2016. Elements of it appear to match accusations of physical and sexual assault that Ventura made in a civil lawsuit she filed against Combs last year.

While NPR has not been able to verify the authenticity of the video, in his apology, Combs appeared to do so.

"I take full responsibility for my actions in that video," Combs said. "I was disgusted then when I did it. I'm disgusted now. I went and I sought out professional help. I got into going to therapy, going to rehab. I had to ask God for his mercy and grace. I'm so sorry. But I'm committed to be a better man each and every day. I'm not asking for forgiveness. I'm truly sorry."

Ventura reached a settlement with Combs for an undisclosed figure in November, one day after the lawsuit was filed.

After the settlement, one of Combs' lawyers, Ben Brafman, issued a statement declaring Combs' innocence. He told NPR: "Just so we're clear, a decision to settle a lawsuit, especially in 2023, is in no way an admission of wrongdoing. Mr. Combs' decision to settle the lawsuit does not in any way undermine his flat-out denial of the claims. He is happy they got to a mutual settlement and wishes Ms. Ventura the best."

NPR's request for comment from Combs' attorney on Sunday was not immediately returned.

In a written statement provided to NPR on Friday afternoon, Ventura's attorney, Douglas Wigdor, said: "The gut-wrenching video has only further confirmed the disturbing and predatory behavior of Mr. Combs. Words cannot express the courage and fortitude that Ms. Ventura has shown in coming forward to bring this to light."

Wigdor did not immediately reply on Sunday to a request for comment on Combs' Instagram post.

Combs faces several lawsuits from named and unnamed plaintiffs alleging assault, rape and other misconduct. In March, federal agents raided homes associated with Combs in Los Angeles and Miami in what authorities at the time referred to as "an ongoing investigation."

On Saturday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said it was aware of the video and while it found the images "extremely disturbing and difficult to watch," if the incident occurred in 2016, "unfortunately we would be unable to charge as the conduct would have occurred beyond the timeline where a crime of assault can be prosecuted."

The statement said that law enforcement has not presented a case against Combs for the attack depicted in the video, "but we encourage anyone who has been a victim or witness to a crime to report it to law enforcement or reach out to our office for support from our Bureau of Victims Services."

Copyright 2024 NPR

John Helton
[Copyright 2024 NPR]