Cassie’s Response to Abuse Video Is a Needful Reminder to Believe Survivors

"My only ask is that EVERYONE open your heart to believing victims the first time," Ventura wrote in an Instagram post a week after surveillance footage showed Diddy attacking her in 2016.

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Cassie’s Response to Abuse Video Is a Needful Reminder to Believe Survivors

On Thursday, Cassie Ventura addressed the horrific surveillance footage that showed Sean “Diddy” Combs brutalizing her in a hotel hallway in 2016.

“Thank you for all the love and support from my family, friends, strangers and those I have yet to meet,” the singer wrote in a heartbreaking Instagram post. “The outpouring of love has created a place for my younger self to settle and feel safe now, but this is only the beginning.”

Last week, a video of Combs repeatedly shoving, punching, and kicking Ventura—then, his partner of over a decade—in a hallway at the InterContinental hotel in March 2016 was obtained and published by CNN. While the abuse was seen on film for the first time, I must note that it had already been extensively detailed in Ventura’s November 2023 suit against Combs (and elsewhere). In the filing, Ventura described innumerable “dark times” during her relationship with Combs and alleged she had been “trapped in a cycle of abuse violence, and sex trafficking” since their relationship began when she was 19 years old. One day after the suit made headlines, Combs settled with Ventura for an undisclosed sum.

“Domestic violence is THE issue. It broke me down to someone I never thought I would become,” Ventura’s post went on. “My only ask is that EVERYONE open your heart to believing victims the first time.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/C7T6OCKRJ-W/

Frankly, Ventura’s words are an urgent reminder that no evidence—least of all a profoundly triggering and potentially re-traumatizing video—should be required for the public to respond with validation and care to anyone who says they’ve been harmed. Full stop.

“The gut-wrenching video has only further confirmed the disturbing and predatory behavior of Mr. Combs,” her attorney, Douglas H. Wigdor, said after the footage was published. “Words cannot express the courage and fortitude that Ms. Ventura has shown in coming forward to bring this to light.”

Days after the video made headlines, Combs addressed it in an Instagram video captioned: “I’m truly sorry.”

“It’s so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you gotta do that,” he said. “My behavior on that video is inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I’m disgusted. I was disgusted then when I did it and I’m disgusted now.”

Combs, it seems, is finally facing some consequences for years of criminal “behavior.” Since settling with Ventura, he’s been named in multiple lawsuits—including one filed as recently as this week—in which he’s accused of sexual assault, physical abuse, harassment, racketeering, and sex trafficking. In late March, Homeland Security officials raided two of his homes in an ongoing sex trafficking investigation.

“It takes a lot of heart to tell the truth out of a situation that you were powerless in,” Ventura concluded her post. “I offer my hand to those that are still living in fear. Reach out to your people, don’t cut them off. No one should carry this weight alone.”

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