Diddy apologizes after video of alleged assault surfaces: 'I hit rock bottom'

ByJulia Reinstein ABCNews logo
Monday, May 20, 2024

Sean "Diddy" Combs has apologized after he was allegedly seen physically assaulting his former girlfriend, Cassie Ventura, in 2016 on hotel surveillance video obtained by CNN.

In the footage, which was reportedly filmed in a Los Angeles hotel on March 5, 2016, a man identified by CNN as Combs was shown chasing Ventura down a hallway, grabbing her by the back of the neck, shoving her to the ground and kicking her as she lay on the ground. He then appeared to grab her by her sweatshirt and drag her across the floor.

In a video posted to Instagram on Sunday, Diddy acknowledged the video and apologized, saying: "It's so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you got to do that."

"I hit rock bottom -- but I make no excuses," he continued, in part. "My behavior on that video is inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I was disgusted then when I did it. I'm disgusted now. 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."

Ventura's lawyer on Sunday issued a statement in response to Diddy's video, saying: "Combs' most recent statement is 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. 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 statement from Meredith Firetog, partner at Wigdor LLP, added.

In November 2023, Ventura settled a lawsuit against Combs that had accused him of sex trafficking and sexual assault. According to court filings, Ventura alleged Combs "often punched, beat, kicked and stomped" on her during their relationship.

"The gut-wrenching video has only further confirmed the disturbing and predatory behavior of Mr. Combs," Douglas H. Wigdor, Ventura's lawyer, said in response to the video footage of Combs. "Words cannot express the courage and fortitude that Ms. Ventura has shown in coming forward to bring this to light."

The allegations were detailed in Ventura's 37-page complaint, saying, "In or around March 2016, during an FO at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles, 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," it continued. "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 made it to the elevator and took a cab home, according to the lawsuit. But "upon realizing that her running away would cause Mr. Combs to be even angrier with her, and completely stuck in his vicious cycle of abuse, Ms. Ventura returned to the hotel with intention of apologizing for running away from her abuser," the lawsuit alleges.

When she arrived back at the hotel, hotel security staff allegedly "urged her to get back into a cab and go to her apartment, suggesting that they had seen the security footage" of Combs beating her, according to the lawsuit.

"Upon information and belief, Mr. Combs paid the InterContinental Century City $50,000 for the hallway security footage from that evening," the lawsuit alleges.

Diddy, who settled the lawsuit with Ventura last November, has consistently denied the allegations. ABC News has reached out to Diddy's representatives for comment.

Ventura's husband, model Alex Fine, published a statement on Instagram early Friday night in which he shared a post he said he'd written "awhile back," which begins, "Men who hit women aren't men. Men who enable it and protect these people aren't men."

"[T]he words ring true not just today but every day," Fine noted of the post, adding in part, "I want my kids and every kid to live in a world that's safe for women and girls, protects them and treats them as equals." The post did not name or directly reference Sean Combs.

If you or a loved one are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or access help through their chat at thehotline.org.

Related Topics