Ms. Casandra Ventura has filed a sex trafficking and sexual assault lawsuit against Sean “Diddy” Combs. Filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the Complaint (read here) alleges that Ms. Ventura was trafficked, raped, and viciously beat by Mr. Combs on many occasions over the course of ten years.
According to the Complaint, the abuse started when Ms. Ventura was just 19 and was lured into a professional and sexual relationship by the then-37 year old music mogul and president of the record label that the young performer signed with. As alleged, Mr. Combs plied the vulnerable Ms. Ventura with drugs and alcohol, causing her to fall into dangerous addictions that controlled her life. Mr. Combs took control of all aspects of Ms. Ventura’s life, from her healthcare to her career opportunities, making her completely beholden to his demands. Moreover, the Complaint describes that Mr. Combs was a serial domestic abuser, who would regularly beat and kick Ms. Ventura, leaving black eyes, bruises, and blood. Others in Mr. Combs’s ambit witnessed this abuse, but said nothing, leaving Ms. Ventura isolated and afraid of the repercussions she would face if she spoke out or reported the abuse. In typical fashion for an abusive partner like Mr. Combs, following his violent attacks, he would become remorseful, seek to hide the evidence of his abuse, and would shower Ms. Ventura with lavish gifts, the Complaint contends. And, completing his perverse control of this young woman, Mr. Combs allegedly forced Ms. Ventura to perform sexual intercourse with male prostitutes who he hired, directing his girlfriend and these men to engage in sex acts while he masturbated and observed and recorded the encounters.
Over the decade Ms. Ventura was trapped in Mr. Combs’s vicious cycle of violence, she repeatedly tried to escape his hold, but was always dragged back to him—sometimes through threats to her career, and other times with threats of violence towards Ms. Ventura and others. According to the Complaint, after she was raped by Mr. Combs in the fall of 2018, Ms. Ventura was finally able to escape his abusive stranglehold on her life. However, this was not without serious damage to her reputation, her career, her friendships, and her mental and physical well-being. The Complaint seeks to hold Mr. Combs accountable for what he has done to Ms. Ventura, and to also shed light on those who facilitated and enabled Mr. Combs’s decade of sexual and physical abuse. Mr. Combs’ record label, Bad Boy Records, and other companies and entities affiliated with Mr. Combs that allegedly funded and otherwise aided and abetted Mr. Combs’s violent and misogynistic abuse are also named as Defendants.
Ms. Ventura is represented by Partners Douglas H. Wigdor, Meredith A. Firetog, and Michael J. Willemin of Wigdor LLP.
Quotes Permitted for Publication:
Casandra Ventura: “After years in silence and darkness, I am finally ready to tell my story, and to speak up on behalf of myself and for the benefit of other women who face violence and abuse in their relationships. With the expiration of New York’s Adult Survivors Act fast approaching, it became clear that this was an opportunity to speak up about the trauma I have experienced and that I will be recovering from for the rest of my life.”
Douglas Wigdor: “No human should have to endure what Ms. Ventura has endured. Her ability and willingness to speak up against the abuse she suffered, and seeking to hold accountable her abuser and those who enabled the abuse, is a testament to her strength and resilience. We are honored to represent this brave victim in her pursuit of justice.”
Additional Statement by Douglas Wigdor in Response to Statement by Ben Brafman: “Mr. Combs offered Ms. Ventura eight figures to silence her and prevent the filing of this lawsuit. She rejected his efforts and decided to give a voice to all woman who suffer in silence. Ms. Ventura should be applauded for her bravery.”