From Raids to Revelations: The Dark Turn in Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ Saga

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By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Following the federal raids on the residences of rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs in Miami and New York, the hip-hop community remains shocked by the barrage of disturbing revelations surrounding the music icon. The raids believed to be the culmination of a protracted investigation prompted by a lawsuit filed by Combs’ former protege, Cassandra “Cassie” Ventura, have brought to light a troubling pattern of alleged sexual misconduct and abuse.

“This is 100 percent about Cassie’s lawsuit,” a well-connected individual in the hip-hop community told the Informer. “Cassie’s lawsuit wasn’t just about Cassie being victimized, which she was. Cassie’s lawsuit gave the police a case with solid, irrefutable evidence.” Ventura’s lawsuit, which some reports suggested Combs settled for a jaw-dropping $100 million, initially drew attention to what some industry insiders described as “crimes” committed by Combs.

The Ventura lawsuit exposed Combs as a serial abuser who paid men for so-called “freak-offs,” including directing them to assault Ventura sexually. The lawsuit also detailed other forms of violence that sources said immediately caught the attention of law enforcement. “When this got out, the blowing up cars, the guns stuff, police called Cassie’s people because they hadn’t heard anything credible about Puff until then,” the source said. “They told Cassie’s lawyers in no uncertain terms that they were going to act. Naturally, they did their due diligence and here we are. Puff kids in cuffs, he’s on the run, and his pretty much the modern-day O.J. [Simpson].”

While Combs hasn’t been arrested, media members tracked his private plane to Antigua and other island destinations that reportedly have no extradition treaties with the United States. After the raids, a TMZ journalist spotted Combs being detained briefly by federal authorities at an airport in Miami. Part of Ventura’s claims included, “In February 2012 … Mr. Combs told Ms. Ventura that he was going to blow up Kid Cudi’s car and that he wanted to ensure that Kid Cudi was home with his friends when it happened.

“Around that time, Kid Cudi’s car exploded in his driveway. Ms. Ventura was terrified as she began fully comprehending what Mr. Combs was willing and able to do to those, he believed had slighted him.” Cudi later confirmed the story to the New York Times. Law enforcement officials confirmed that the investigation encompasses various potential crimes, including sex trafficking and firearms. Since Ventura’s lawsuit, numerous other accusers have made similar allegations against Combs, spanning decades. Lawsuits have detailed alleged coercion, rape, and other forms of abuse by the Bad Boy Records founder.

Despite Combs’ vehement denials, mounting legal battles and public scrutiny prompted him to step down as chairman of his cable television network, Revolt. Combs’ online marketplace, Empower Global, highlighting Black-owned brands, remains active but currently displays no available products. Earlier this year, Combs opted to retract a lawsuit he had filed against Diageo, a settlement reached with the London-based spirits giant. In his lawsuit, he alleged Diageo failed to fulfill promised investments in Cîroc vodka and DeLeon tequila, which he had endorsed. Combs asserted that Diageo treated these brands as inferior “urban” products and leveled unfounded accusations of racism against the company’s leadership.

According to court documents, Combs alleged that Diageo executives cited race as a factor in restricting distribution to predominantly “urban” neighborhoods. Further, he claimed that some leaders within Diageo harbored resentment towards him for his financial success. Diageo countered Combs’ claims in response, denouncing them as “false and reckless” attempts to extort additional funds from the company. Despite the legal dispute, Combs’ reputation suffered a significant blow, mainly after initiating the lawsuit. Subsequently, Diageo assumed full ownership of Cîroc and DeLeon following the lawsuit’s withdrawal.

After the raids on his homes where authorities handcuffed and temporarily detained two of his children, criticism of Combs intensified. Renowned artists like 50 Cent and former Bad Boy rapper Ma$e publicly condemned his behavior, while resurfaced interviews with superstar Usher have added fuel to the fire. Usher’s chilling testimony of his time at what he described as “Puff Flavor Camp” painted a vivid picture of the disturbing atmosphere surrounding Combs. “I got a chance to see some things … I don’t know if I could indulge and even understand what I was looking at,” Usher recounted in a resurfaced 2016 interview with Howard Stern. Asked whether he would send his kids to “Puffy Flavor Camp,” Usher exclaimed: “Hell no!”

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