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Video appears to show Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs beating singer Cassie in hotel hallway in 2016


Warning: This article contains graphic content that may be disturbing to readers. Discretion is advised.

Security video aired by CNN appears to show Sean “Diddy” Combs attacking singer Cassie in a Los Angeles hotel hallway in 2016, the latest in a months-long series of public allegations and revelations of physical and sexual violence from the hip-hop mogul.

The video aired Friday appears to show Combs, wearing only a white towel, punching and kicking the 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.

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 a November lawsuit filed by Cassie, whose legal name is Cassandra Ventura, that alleged years of sexual abuse and other violence from Combs.

The lawsuit alleges Combs paid the hotel US$50,000 for the security video. CNN did not say how it obtained the video but noted it verified the location it was shot by comparing the footage to publicly available images of the InterContinental Hotel.

Cassie’s lawsuit was settled the day after it was filed, 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.

Representatives for Combs did not immediately comment on the video, but he has previously denied the allegations in the lawsuits, and his lawyers have said he denies any wrongdoing and will fight to prove his innocence.

“The gut-wrenching video has only further confirmed the disturbing and predatory behaviour of Mr. Combs,” said Douglas Wigdor, an attorney for Cassie who has filed other lawsuits against Combs. “Words cannot express the courage and fortitude that Ms. Ventura has shown in coming forward to bring this to light.”

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

According to the lawsuit, Combs earlier in the evening became “extremely intoxicated” and punched Ventura, giving her a black eye. After he fell asleep she tried to leave, the suit says. This is apparently where the video begins. Ventura can be seen heading to a bank of elevators with a packed bag.

Then Combs awoke and began screaming at her, following her down the hall, the suit said.

He violently grabs her and yanks her to the ground, kicks her, and throws vases in her direction in the video.

The lawsuit says she managed to get away, but later returned out of fear that she would face greater abuse if she didn’t. As she returned, hotel staff urged her to go back to her apartment, the suit says. She would flee and hide out with a friend in Florida.

The lawsuit alleges Combs paid the hotel US$50,000 for the security video.

It is unlikely Combs could be criminally charged in the attack. The statutes of limitations for assault or battery in California run from one to three years depending on whether they’re charged as misdemeanors or felonies.

The video’s release comes as Combs and his legal team had begun to push back against the allegations that had come in a steady stream since November. They recently filed motions to dismiss parts of a lawsuit alleging he sexually assaulted a woman in 1991, and to dismiss all of a lawsuit alleging he and two other men raped a 17-year-old girl in 2003. The court filings called both sets of allegations false.

On March 25, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations served search warrants on Combs’ homes in Los Angeles and Miami in a sex-trafficking investigation. His lawyer called it “a gross use of military-level force.” The investigation is continuing. Combs has not been charged.

Combs, a three-time Grammy winner and the founder of Bad Boy Records, is among the most influential hip-hop producers and executives of the past three decades. He turned his hip-hop success into a broader business empire that includes private-label spirits, fashion, and a TV network. He has had to step aside from some of his business roles since the allegations began emerging.

He and Ventura began dating in 2007 and had an on-and-off relationship for more than a decade.

She became known for the hit single “Me & U,” which secured the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart in 2006. The song was the lead single of her self-titled and only studio album.

As an actor, she has appeared in several television shows and films, including Fox’s “Empire,” “Step Up 2: The Streets” and “Spenser Confidential.”

Associated Press Entertainment Writer Jonathan Landrum, Jr. contributed to this report.

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