Earlier this year, in an interview with The Cut, Cassie explained that she’s living on her own terms now. “Every decision is mine, every movement is mine, there’s no asking anyone or playing into fear,” she said. “I’m not fearful of the decisions that I make for myself because they’re mine and they’re for the benefit of me and my family at the end of the day.”
The singer, given name Casandra Ventura, may have had a different response over a decade ago during her tumultuous relationship with former partner and ex-boss Sean “Diddy” Combs, per disturbing allegations that surfaced on November 16, 2023. The New York Times reported that Ventura filed a lawsuit against Combs, alleging that she was sex trafficked and raped by the music mogul as well as a victim of his physical violence for over ten years. Combs, through his lawyer, Ben Brafman, has vehemently denied the accusations. One day after news of the civil suit broke, the case was settled out of court.
During her time with Combs, Ventura claims her decisions weren’t hers. According to her 35-page court complaint, complete with a trigger warning, a then-middle-aged Combs allegedly lured her into a romantic relationship in the early 2000s after signing her to his label, Bad Boy Records. She was 19. Combs was 47. Ventura says she was groomed and repeatedly pursued by Combs, whom the lawsuit alleged positioned himself as Ventura’s “father figure and protector” early on. She alleges she soon found herself trapped in a personal and professional relationship where autonomy didn’t exist.
Ventura’s allegations depict an unfortunate yet familiar account of a young and impressionable woman who enters the music industry with little to no experience and encounters a powerful man who abuses that power. If you believe Ventura, and I choose to, Combs took advantage of her naivety, allegedly assuming complete control over her personal and professional life under the guise that he had her best interests at heart. But in instances like Ventura’s, someone almost 20 years Combs’ junior, it’s all too common that selfish agendas manifest in dangerous ways. In Ventura’s case, Combs’ alleged physical and psychological abuse cost her over a decade of freedom.
In instances like Cassie’s, someone almost 20 years Diddy’s junior, it’s all too common that selfish agendas manifest in dangerous ways. Diddy’s alleged physical and psychological abuse cost her over a decade of freedom.
Ventura’s civil suit claims Combs often flaunted his wealth and power to intimidate her to be compliant with his demands. Ventura alleged in court docs that he hooked the singer onto a drug and alcohol-fueled lifestyle and forced her to engage in various sexual encounters with male sex workers (which the lawsuit reports Combs often called “Freak Offs” or “FOs”) while he watched and sometimes filmed. She claims Combs even forced her to carry a gun in her …read more