Sean “Diddy” Combs settled civil suit with Cassie “so quickly” over 2016 hotel surveillance video, says former CIA agent

Former CIA agent Tracy Walder tells PEOPLE exclusively that she predicts “something is going to happen soon in terms of the indictment”

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(LR): Sean “Diddy” Combs and Casandra “Cassie” Ventura

It took Sean “Diddy” Combs and Casandra “Cassie” Ventura a day to reach a settlement – after a lawsuit was filed last year – all because of a recently released surveillance video, says Tracy Walder, a former CIA and FBI special agent.

On Friday, May 17, CNN released surveillance video from the InterContinental Hotel in Los Angeles in March 2016 that shows the music mogul, in a towel, grabbing, kicking and shoving his ex-girlfriend Ventura outside an elevator. The footage resembles a scenario described in her lawsuit, which accuses Diddy of rape, sex trafficking and domestic violence.

Ventura described the incident in which Combs “was extremely intoxicated and punched Ms. Ventura in the face, giving her a black eye,” the lawsuit details. The lawsuit states that after Combs fell asleep, Ventura tried to leave the hotel room, but he woke up and followed her into the hallway, screaming.

“He grabbed her, then picked up glass vases in the hallway and threw them at her, causing glass to shatter around her as she ran to the elevator to escape,” the lawsuit states.

Hours later, Walder spoke exclusively to PEOPLE, describing the footage as the reason Combs “got back together with ex-girlfriend Casandra Ventura so quickly in November 2023.”

Related: Will the video of Diddy kicking and dragging Cassie help the federal investigation into the sex trafficking allegations against him?

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Sean “Diddy” Combs and Casandra “Cassie” Ventura in January 2018

“Diddy never expected the video to be released. It’s very upsetting that the statute of limitations has expired. It depends on what the charge might be, but the statute of limitations can be anywhere from one to three years. Aggravated assault expires after three years in California,” Walder says. “Since this stems from an incident in 2016, she would not be able to face assault charges in Los Angeles.”

“This undermines the argument made by Diddy and his legal team that the government used too much force in executing his search warrants,” Walder continues.

Walder worked as a CIA agent for six years starting in 2000 and immediately moved to the FBI, where she worked as a special agent for four years.

She suspects that the music mogul “knew about this video, knew about other allegations against him (although he was acquitted of the charges), and that he had an armed security team, and that this was therefore a completely appropriate use of force.”

“I think maybe there will be an indictment soon, but it’s interesting that it’s been released now,” Welder adds. She claims that “either (Cassie’s) attorney or the hotel gave the footage to CNN because the hotel only got $50,000 to keep it secret,” according to Ventura’s lawsuit.

“I wonder if Cassie or her lawyer are frustrated because there have been no federal charges yet and that’s why they did this. I would imagine Sean Combs will no longer pursue civil litigation now,” Welder adds.

In recent months, five people have accused Combs of sexual assault and related charges. In November, he was accused of drugging and raping a woman named Joi Dickerson-Neal while she was a student at Syracuse University in 1991.

That same day, Liza Gardner filed a lawsuit against him, claiming he and singer-songwriter Aaron Hall took turns raping her and a friend in New Jersey more than 30 years ago (according to new case documents). A month later, Combs was accused of sexual assault by a fourth victim. The victim claimed he, former Bad Boy Entertainment president Harve Pierre and a third person, referred to as the “third attacker,” committed sex trafficking and gang rape when she was 17 years old.

In a statement to PEOPLE in December, Combs flatly denied all allegations against him.

“ENOUGH. For the past few weeks, I have sat in silence and watched as people have tried to destroy my reputation and my legacy,” he said.

The mogul added: “There have been vile allegations made against me by individuals looking for a quick payday. Let me be very clear: I have not done any of the horrific things I am accused of. I will fight for my name, my family and the truth.”

Related Topics: Cassie’s husband Alex Fine posts about violence against women after Diddy’s abuse video: “Believe”

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Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs in March 2018

In February, Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones filed a lawsuit accusing Combs of sexually harassing, drugging and threatening him during their collaboration.

Following the numerous allegations, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) raided Combs’ properties in Los Angeles and Miami. Diddy’s sons Justin Combs, 30, and Christian “King” Combs, 25, were shown in handcuffs outside their Beverly Hills home on March 26.

“I suspect they searched all the apartments at once to prevent the destruction of evidence. This is just a practice used when executing search warrants on multiple properties where evidence (computers, external and flash drives, etc.) may be destroyed. It’s about preservation,” says Walder.

“RICO charges are difficult to beat and require a very large defense team because there is a lot to sift through. They are extremely complex and it can take months or years to fully build a criminal financial trail. You have to prove a repeating pattern, which takes time,” she continues. “I don’t think anything will be different here. Law enforcement doesn’t respect people in Hollywood.”

“All of this has to go before a grand jury, which will decide whether or not charges are filed. I haven’t seen the evidence, so I can’t say whether or not he’ll be arrested. But I suspect an investigation will take some time just because of the amount of evidence they might have,” she adds. “A RICO sentence can be 20 years. But I don’t know the evidence, so I don’t know what the sentence would be. But the video is just outrageous, and I hope that makes anyone who calls her a gold digger feel terrible.”

PEOPLE has reached out to attorneys for Combs and Ventura, as well as CNN’s representative, for comment on the details of the footage, but they could not immediately be reached.

This morning, following the release of the surveillance footage, Ventura’s attorney Douglas H. Wigdor said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE that “the harrowing video only further validated Mr. Combs’ disturbing and predatory behavior.”

“Words cannot express the courage and strength Ms. Ventura showed in bringing this to light,” the statement continued.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in more than 170 languages.

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