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Sean Combs admits beating ex-girlfriend Cassie, says he’s sorry, calls his actions ‘inexcusable’

May 19, 2024, 4:39 PM | Updated: 4:45 pm

FILE - Sean "Diddy" Combs arrives at the LA Premiere of "The Four: Battle For Stardom" at the CBS R...

FILE - Sean "Diddy" Combs arrives at the LA Premiere of "The Four: Battle For Stardom" at the CBS Radford Studio Center on May 30, 2018, in Los Angeles. Newly released video Friday, May 17, 2024, appears to show Combs beating his former singing protege and girlfriend Cassie in a Los Angeles hotel in 2016. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

(Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sean “Diddy” Combs admitted that he beat his ex-girlfriend Cassie in a hotel hallway in 2016 after CNN released video of the attack, saying in a video apology he was “truly sorry” and his actions were “inexcusable.”

“I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I was disgusted then when I did it. I’m disgusted now,” the music mogul said in a video statement posted Sunday to Instagram and Facebook.

The security video aired Friday shows Combs, wearing only a white towel, punching and kicking Cassie, an R&B singer who was his protege and longtime girlfriend at the time. The footage also shows Combs shoving and dragging Cassie, and throwing a vase in her direction.

Cassie, whose legal name is Cassandra Ventura, sued Combs in November over what she said was years of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. The suit was settled the next day, but spurred intense scrutiny of Combs, with several more lawsuits filed in the following months, along with a federal criminal sex-trafficking investigation that led authorities to raid Combs’ mansions in Los Angeles and Miami.

Allegations were denied

He had denied the allegations in the lawsuits, but neither he nor his representatives had responded to the newly emerged video until Sunday.

“It’s so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you got to do that,” Diddy says on the video. He adds, “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.”

Combs is looking somber and wearing a T-shirt in the selfie-style apology video, and appears to be on a patio. It is the hip-hop mogul’s most direct response and first apology after six months of allegations that have threatened his reputation and career.

Meredith Firetog, who represents Ventura and other women who have sued Combs, said the apology was “more about himself than the many people he has hurt.

“When Cassie and multiple other women came forward, he denied everything and suggested that his victims were looking for a payday,” the lawyer said in a statement. “That he was only compelled to ‘apologize’ once his repeated denials were proven false shows his pathetic desperation, and no one will be swayed by his disingenuous words.”

The Associated Press does not typically name people who say they have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly as Ventura has done.

Lawsuits filed

In December, after Ventura and at least three other women had filed lawsuits against him, Combs posted a statement on Instagram broadly denying the truth of all of them.

“Let me absolutely clear. I did not do any of the awful things being alleged,” that post said.

The security camera video, dated March 5, 2016, closely resembles the description of an incident at an InterContinental Hotel in the Century City area of Los Angeles described in Ventura’ lawsuit.

The suit alleges that Combs paid the hotel $50,000 for the security video immediately after the incident. Neither he or his representatives have addressed that specific allegation. CNN did not say how it obtained the footage.

The suit said Ventura had been trying to get away from a sleeping Combs, who had already punched her in the face before the video began.

Combs is not in danger of being criminally prosecuted for the beating. The statutes of limitations for the assault and battery charges he would be likely to face expired years ago.

The same is true of many of the allegations in the lawsuits, but the federal investigators following Combs are likely looking for potential crimes they can bring under the law.

Ventura signed to Diddy’s label in 2005. The two had an on-again-off-again romantic relationship for more than a decade starting in 2007.

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Sean Combs admits beating ex-girlfriend Cassie, says he’s sorry, calls his actions ‘inexcusable’