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Newly surfaced video shows apparent assault by Sean Combs like claims in settled case

Since Ventura filed her lawsuit against Combs in November 2023, the mogul has faced allegations of assault in four additional suits.
Paras Griffin
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Since Ventura filed her lawsuit against Combs in November 2023, the mogul has faced allegations of assault in four additional suits.

Editor's note: This story includes descriptions of physical abuse.

A newly surfaced surveillance video appears to show one of hip-hop's biggest moguls, Sean Combs, physically assaulting his then-girlfriend, singer Cassie Ventura, in a Los Angeles hotel.

The video, which was obtained and published by CNN on Friday afternoon, allegedly shows Combs grabbing, throwing, kicking and dragging Ventura in a hotel hallway, as well as throwing an object at her. CNN reported that the video, which includes tape from multiple camera angles, was recorded at the now-shuttered InterContinental Hotel in Century City on March 5, 2016. NPR has not been able to verify the authenticity of the video.

Elements from the video appear to align with accusations that Ventura made in a civil lawsuit she filed against Combs last year, in which she accused Combs of physically and sexually assaulting her for over a decade.

In that suit, which Ventura filed on Nov. 16 in the Southern District of New York, Ventura claimed that in March 2016 at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City, "Mr. Combs became extremely intoxicated and punched Ms. Ventura in the face, giving her a black eye. After he fell asleep, Ms. Ventura tried to leave the hotel room, but as she exited, Mr. Combs awoke and began screaming at Ms. Ventura. He followed her into the hallway of the hotel while yelling at her. He grabbed at her, and then took glass vases in the hallway and threw them at her, causing glass to crash around them as she ran to the elevator to escape." Ventura also alleged in her suit that Combs paid hotel staff $50,000 for its hotel security footage of the incident.

A day after Ventura filed her civil suit in New York, she reached a settlement with Combs for an undisclosed figure. After the settlement, one of Combs' lawyers, Ben Brafman, issued a statement declaring Combs' innocence, and 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 requests for comment from Combs' attorneys on Friday afternoon were 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."

Copyright 2024 NPR

Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.