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Diddy’s Fall from Grace: Assault Video Exposes Dark Side

CCTV footage confirmed what many in the music industry had long suspected: a moment of reckoning for one of hip-hop’s most influential artists.

The videos showed Sean “Diddy” Combs kicking his former girlfriend Cassie Ventura as she lay motionless on the floor, solidifying his downfall despite his subsequent apology.

“I don’t see a path for him to come back from this,” said Amy DuBois Barnett, former editor-in-chief of Ebony magazine and a writer on hip-hop culture.

Combs’ reputation in the industry had been “chequered for some time,” Barnett added. “Many people were aware of his unbridled temper.”

Formerly known as P Diddy, Puff Daddy, or Puffy, Combs is one of the best-selling and most acclaimed artists of all time, with three Grammy Awards and millions of record sales to his name.

For years, nothing hindered his ascent to icon status as an artist, producer, and businessman. While negative stories circulated within the industry, much of it remained hidden from the public, according to Barnett.

Last November, Ms. Ventura settled a lawsuit against Combs, in which she accused him of rape and sexual trafficking, for an undisclosed sum. However, Combs’ lawyer maintained that the settlement was “in no way an admission of wrongdoing.”

Celebrities continued to support him until CCTV footage obtained by CNN was published last week, ending their endorsements.

The assault depicted in the footage is brutal. Combs, wearing only a towel, is seen kicking Ms. Ventura like a football and then dragging her across the floor.

The video appears to be a compilation of surveillance footage from March 5, 2016, reportedly filmed at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles. In her lawsuit, Ms. Ventura had described an attack by Combs at that hotel in March 2016.

A series of additional lawsuits have been filed against Combs, alleging abuse, sexual misconduct, and rape. The most recent was filed on Tuesday by Crystal McKinney, a former model and winner of MTV’s 1998 Model Mission competition.

McKinney claimed that she was “drugged and sexually assaulted” by Combs in 2003 following a fashion event in New York. BBC News has reached out to Diddy’s representatives for comment on these allegations.

When the initial lawsuits were filed, the rapper called the accusations “sickening” and claimed the alleged victims were seeking “a quick payday.”

However, the video of the assault on Ms. Ventura has undermined those denials.

Combs remained silent for two days after the video’s release before posting an apology on Instagram, admitting it was him in the footage and describing his actions as “inexcusable.”

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