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Sean 'Diddy' Combs facing business backlash following sex assault lawsuits

The megamillionaire media mogul has lost several business relationships in recent weeks, according to a new report from Rolling Stone.

Sean "Diddy" Combs, center left, is seen with then-partner Casandra "Cassie" Ventura in May 2018 at the "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination" MET Gala in New York. The couple later ended their relationship and Ventura settled a civil suit against Combs in November 2023. (Neilson Barnard/Getty)

Sean “Diddy” Combs is facing major blows to his business interests as he faces multiple allegations of sexual assault, Rolling Stone reported on Sunday.

According to the outlet, 18 companies have confirmed that they severed relationships with Comb’s Empower Global, launched this summer as a medium of the growing buy-Black movement. The entity is a subsidiary of Combs Global, the overarching conglomerate owned by the 54-year-old rapper and media mogul.

“We take the allegations against Mr. Combs very seriously and find such behavior abhorrent and intolerable,” House of Takura founder Helen Annette Njau told Rolling Stone after ending her business’s partnership with Empower.

“We believe in victims’ rights, and support victims in speaking their truth, even against the most powerful of people.”

House of Takura is one of just several companies detailed in the new exposé, many of which involve female founders and leaders. The departures are the fruit of a cascading legal predicament for Combs, who was first sued on November 16 by his ex-partner and music label artist Casandra “Cassie” Ventura (of “Me & U” fame).

The Catholic-raised businessman, thought to be worth roughly a billion dollars from his various enterprises, has since been sued by three other women—including on December 6 by an alleged victim who was 17 when the incident purportedly occurred.

Combs settled his case with Ventura just one day after it was filed and has publicly denied the subsequent allegations.

“Enough is enough. For the last couple of weeks, I have sat silently and watched people try to assassinate my character, destroy my reputation and my legacy,” he tweeted on December 6.

“Sickening allegations have been made against me by individuals looking for a quick payday. Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth.”

Public opinion has quickly mounted against the Black media magnate, who rebranded himself under the name “Love” last year. Combs released an LP based on the name this fall, “The Love Album: Off the Grid,” and made waves the same month by reassigning publishing rights to several of his former artists under Bad Boy Entertainment. (He had previously faced backlash for uneven business deals made during the height of his musical fame.)

Following the onset of his latest legal troubles, Diddy resigned as chairman of his Los Angeles-based media company Revolt, which he founded with Andy Schuon in 2012.

“While Mr. Combs has previously had no operational or day-to-day role in the business,” the company said, “this decision helps to ensure that REVOLT remains steadfastly focused on our mission to create meaningful content for the culture and amplify the voices of all Black people throughout this country and the African diaspora.”

Within a week of the news, one of Combs' longtime critics, fellow rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson III, announced plans for a documentary on Combs’ alleged misdeeds, along the lines of the 2019 Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.” (Jackson jeeringly likened Combs to the imprisoned R&B crooner in social media posts thereafter.)

Jackson, who has reportedly earned hundreds of millions from his own music and business ventures, has pledged to donate the profits earned from the upcoming production.

“Proceeds from this documentary will go to victims of sexual assault and rape,” he posted on social media on December 7.

Many onlookers have called Combs’ ostensibly positive moves over the summer a cover for what he may have seen on the horizon in the courtroom, given New York State’s Adult Survivors Act signed into law in 2022. The legislation temporarily allowed for sexual assault civil lawsuits normally precluded by the statute of limitations. 

That lookback window expired in late November, but not before Cassie and others filed suit against Combs, alleging physical and sexual abuse—in some cases dating back decades.

The latest, filed by Cassie’s attorney Douglas Wigdor, details an unnamed woman’s claims of being gang-raped by Combs and Bad Boy president Harve Pierre in 2003. New York’s normal statute of limitations for sexual assault cases, under the Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Act enacted in 2019, is 20 years.

Combs is not currently facing criminal charges and is not known to have settled with any of his alleged victims who filed this year, other than Cassie. He previously settled a sexual harassment case from his former chef, Cindy Rueda, in 2019.

Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger.

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