Casandra Ventura, formerly known as Cassie and once signed to Sean Combs’ Bad Boy label, has filed a federal lawsuit against Combs, accusing the music mogul of a decade-long pattern of rape and physical abuse. The legal action, initiated in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, implicates Bad Boy Records and affiliated companies, as well as Epic Records.
Ventura, in a statement released by her legal team from Wigdor LLP, which includes Douglas H. Wigdor, Meredith A. Firetog, and Michael J. Willemin, expressed her decision to break her silence, citing the approaching expiration of New York’s Adult Survivors Act as a pivotal moment to share her traumatic experiences.
Combs’ defense team, led by lawyer Ben Brafman, vehemently denies the allegations, portraying the lawsuit as an unsuccessful attempt at extortion by a former girlfriend. Brafman asserts that Ventura demanded $30 million over the past six months under the threat of publishing a damaging book about their relationship.
Ventura’s legal team rebuts these claims, stating that Combs offered a substantial sum to silence her, an offer she declined to give a voice to all women facing similar silent suffering. Wigdor commended Ventura’s bravery for speaking out against the alleged abuse.
The lawsuit details Ventura’s claims that the abusive relationship began when she was 19, describing Combs as a serial domestic abuser who subjected her to physical violence, controlled her through drugs and alcohol, and coerced her into engaging in sexual acts with male prostitutes.
Additional shocking allegations include Combs blowing up a man’s car due to romantic interest in Ventura, pursuing a rival executive with a firearm, and introducing Ventura to a lifestyle of excessive substance abuse. The suit contends that Combs frequently showered Ventura with gifts following episodes of violence, a typical pattern of behavior by serial abusers.
Ventura’s lawyers claim that she attempted to break away from the relationship multiple times but faced coercion and intimidation. The lawsuit further alleges that in 2018, after she believed she had separated from Combs, he raped her during a forced encounter.
The legal action cites federal sex trafficking laws, the New York State Human Rights Law, the New York City Human Rights Law, the Gender Motivated Violence Act, the New York Services for Victims of Human Trafficking, the California Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act, and the California Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
Ventura’s association with Bad Boy ended in 2018, twelve years after her debut album’s release, with no full-length follow-up. The lawsuit brings to light a series of disturbing accusations against Combs, emphasizing Ventura’s pursuit of justice for the alleged decade of abuse she endured.