Who is Cassie? Singer says she will ‘always recover from her past’ after Diddy’s attack video

Singer and model Cassie Ventura has spoken out for the first time since a video was released showing her ex-partner, rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs, attacking her.

Video of the 2016 assault was released by CNN last week. It comes after Ms Ventura claimed that Mr Combs attacked her on multiple occasions – brutally beating and raping her – and controlled every aspect of her life throughout the duration of the relationship.

In a statement posted on Instagram, she said: “Love has created a place for my younger self to settle down and feel safe, but this is just the beginning.

“Domestic violence is THE problem. It made me into someone I never thought I would become. Thanks to hard work, I am better today, but I will still have to recover from my past.

“All I ask is that EVERYONE opens their heart to believe victims the first time. It takes a lot of heart to tell the truth from a situation where you were powerless. This healing process is never over, but this support means the world to me.”

In November 2023, Ms. Ventura reached an undisclosed settlement with her ex in a legal dispute. At the time, Mr. Combs’s lawyer said the settlement was “in no way an admission of wrongdoing.”

Mr. Combs is a three-time Grammy winner, runs a business empire and has been a major hip-hop mogul since founding Bad Boy Records in 1993. He has worked closely with musicians such as Notorious BIG, Mary J Blige and Lil’ Kim.

But who is his accuser?

Who is Cassie?

Casandra Elizabeth “Cassie” Ventura is a singer, actress, and model. Her debut single, “Me & U,” peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in 2006 and caught the attention of rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs, later known as P Diddy. Her album of the same name debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 and sold 321,000 copies in the United States.

However, Cassie hasn’t released another album since 2006, although she has released numerous singles, including “Must Be Love” featuring Diddy in 2009, and has also collaborated with other artists such as Akon and Wiz Khalifa. In 2019, it was announced that the singer was working on new content.

Since then, she has signed with modeling agencies Wilhelmina Models and One Management and has appeared in commercials for Delia’s, Adidas, Abercrombie & Fitch, Seventeen, and Clean and Clear. Cassie has also appeared in films such as Step Up 2: The Streets (2008) and The Perfect Match (2016).

The Me & U singer is married to Alex Fine, a 25-year-old personal trainer who trains some of the biggest names in Hollywood. They are married and have two children.

In October 2018, it was reported that Cassie had split from Combs after 11 years together. “They are actually no longer together and have been for months,” Ms. Ventura’s spokesperson announced in an official statement at the time.

What allegations are made against P. Diddy?

In a major lawsuit filed against him in Manhattan federal court on Thursday, Cassie, whose real name is Casandra Ventura, claims she was trapped in an abusive relationship with him for a decade.

A lawyer for Ms Ventura told the New York Times that she had been offered an “eight-figure sum” “to silence her and prevent the filing of this lawsuit,” but she refused.

Ms Ventura told the Times that after “years of silence and darkness” she was “finally ready to tell my story and speak on my own behalf and for the benefit of other women who experience violence and abuse in their relationships.”

The lawsuit describes the details of their relationship, in which Combs allegedly gained control over her personal and professional life and subjected her to beatings, forced sexual contact and constant threats of violence for years.

The lawsuit says Combs began aggressively courting Ms. Ventura, who began dating Bad Boy at age 19 and quickly rose to fame. He invited himself to a party for her 21st birthday, where he forcibly kissed her and immediately asserted his power and influence.

According to the indictment, he seduced her into a “flashy, hectic and drug-fueled lifestyle.” He also allegedly forced her to carry his weapons in her purse on at least two occasions.

The man, now 54, was allegedly prone to “uncontrollable rage” and regularly forced Ms Ventura to “perform sexual acts with male sex workers,” whom he photographed and filmed. The lawsuit also alleges that she was given drugs before and during the encounter that allowed her to “gain distance during these horrific encounters.”

In 2015, Combs allegedly beat Ms. Ventura so brutally that his security guard and assistant burst into tears when they saw “two black eyes, a split and bruised lip and a huge welt on her forehead,” the lawsuit says.

What did P Diddy say?

Mr Combs had previously denied all allegations.

A representative said in a statement in November 2023: “Mr. Combs vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations. Over the past six months, Mr. Combs has been continually confronted by Ms. Ventura with demands for $30 million under the threat of writing an incriminating book about their relationship, which has been unequivocally rejected as blatant extortion.

“Although she has retracted her initial threat, Ms. Ventura has now filed a lawsuit that is full of baseless and outrageous lies. Her goal is to damage Mr. Combs’ reputation and collect money.”

However, in May 2024, he apologized after surveillance footage showed him attacking Cassie in a hotel hallway in 2016.

In a video statement posted on Instagram, he said: “My behavior in this video is inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my behavior in this video.”

“I was disgusted when I did it. I still am today,” he added. “I sought professional help. I went to therapy, rehab. I had to ask God for his grace and mercy. I’m so sorry. But I’m committed to being a better person every day. I’m not asking for forgiveness. I’m truly sorry.”

Meredith Firetog, a lawyer for Ms. Ventura, said in a statement on Sunday after Mr. Combs released the statement: “Combs’ recent statement is more about himself than about the many people he has harmed.

“When Cassie and several other women came forward, he denied everything and suggested that his victims were only after money.

“The fact that he only felt compelled to ‘apologize’ when his repeated denials turned out to be false shows his pathetic desperation, and no one will be swayed by his insincere words.”