Sean Combs, better known as Diddy, met R&B singer Casandra Ventura around 2005.
Ventura alleged in a lawsuit that she has since been "trapped" by Combs in a "cycle of abuse."
The lawsuit also accuses Combs of being behind a plot to blow up rapper Kid Cudi's car.
Sean Combs, the musician better known as Diddy, was accused of rape and perpetuating a "cycle of abuse" against a former romantic partner, R&B singer Casandra Ventura, who filed a lawsuit in a Manhattan court against the music mogul on Thursday.
The lawsuit, which was reviewed by Business Insider, contains eye-popping allegations against Combs, a pivotal hip-hop figure who collaborated with names like Notorious B.I.G. and Mary J. Blige.
Just a day after filing her lawsuit, however, Ventura and Combs reached a settlement, according to The New York Times. The terms of the settlement were not known.
In what she described as "dark times" in her life, Ventura, whose stage name is Cassie, accused Combs of raping her in her home, years of physical abuse, and forcing her to engage in sex acts with male sex workers.
On top of those allegations, Ventura's lawsuit suggests that Combs also was responsible for blowing up a car that belonged to Kid Cudi, whose real name is Scott Mescudi, after Combs learned that Cudi was interested in Ventura in 2012.
Mescudi's representatives did not respond to a request for comment.
In a statement to Business Insider, Combs' lawyer, Ben Brafman, said: "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."
The lawsuit was brought forward under the Adult Survivors Act, a New York law that provides victims of sexual abuse a one-year window to file a civil lawsuit even if the statute of limitations expired. The window to file cases under the law is set to expire next week.
"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. 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," Ventura said in a statement.
In response to Brafman, Douglas Wigdor, a lawyer for Ventura, said that prior to the suit being filed, "Mr. Combs offered Ms. Ventura eight figures to silence her and prevent the filing of this lawsuit. She rejected his efforts."
"Trapped" in a cycle of abuse
Combs met Ventura in 2005 when she was 19 years old and he was 37, the lawsuit said.
After her hit single "Me & U" and a few demos later, Combs soon signed Ventura under his music label Bad Boy Records, which he founded in 1991.
Within a few years, the lawsuit alleged, Combs "lured Ms. Ventura into an ostentatious, fast-paced, and drug-fueled lifestyle, and into a romantic relationship with him — 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 hip-hop producer "trapped" Ventura in an abusive and controlling relationship, at times beating Ventura in front of Combs' staff or employees at Bad Boy who would not dare to speak up against their boss, the lawsuit alleged.
"Following these episodes of horrific abuse, Mr. Combs would immediately attempt to hide Ms. Ventura and the evidence of his violent rage," the lawsuit claimed. "He often showered her with gifts following incidents of physical violence, a typical pattern of behavior by serial abusers."
The lawsuit goes into several alleged instances of violent disputes, including one in 2016, when Combs gave Ventura a black eye while he was intoxicated at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles.
Kid Cudi car incident
Ventura also accuses Combs of engaging in several intimidation tactics.
On at least two occasions, the lawsuit said, Combs asked the singer to hold his gun in her purse.
"There was no clear reason why Mr. Combs required her to hold his guns, except to reinforce to his young girlfriend that he was violent, powerful, and dangerous," the lawsuit said.
There was also a case that up until now was only heard within the confines of celebrity gossip circles, involving an alleged relationship dispute between Mescudi, Combs, and Ventura.
During a "rough patch" with Combs in 2011, Ventura was in a brief relationship with Mescudi, the lawsuit said.
Combs, upset with the relationship, not only abused Ventura when she returned to him because she felt she "could not escape Mr. Combs and his network of enforcers," but also told her around 2012 during Paris Fashion Week that he would blow up Mescudi's car.
"Around that time, Kid Cudi's car exploded in his driveway," the lawsuit alleged. "Ms. Ventura was terrified, as she began to fully comprehend what Mr. Combs was both willing and able to do to those he believed had slighted him."
Combs and Ventura's relationship has previously been the subject of gossip news cycle.
Ventura and Combs still remained in touch for a few years after 2016, as shown in the lawsuit.
Around September 2018, Ventura alleged that Combs raped her following a dinner during which she hoped would be a discussion on ending their relationship for good.
The lawsuit said that the two-decade relationship has brought Ventura "immense" trauma and emotional distress.
"Except for the months when she was pregnant with her children, Ms. Ventura struggled with her addictions to drugs and alcohol — addictions that were established and fueled by Mr. Combs, the lawsuit alleged.
November 17, 2023: This story has been updated to reflect that Combs and Ventura settled on Friday.
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