Why some see hypocrisy in Sean 'Diddy' Combs' apology over Cassie Ventura attack

Sean Combs poses at an event in a cream suit
After a shocking video emerged Friday showing Sean "Diddy" Combs attacking singer Casandra Ventura in 2016, he posted a video Sunday admitting to the violence and apologizing. (Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)

When singer Casandra Ventura filed a lawsuit last year accusing Sean "Diddy" Combs of attacking and raping her, the music legend's lawyers were quick to deny the charges.

Her suit, one Combs lawyer said, was “riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aiming to tarnish Mr. Combs’ reputation and seeking a payday.” He added that Combs “vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations.”

But after a shocking video emerged Friday showing Combs attacking Ventura in 2016, Combs on Sunday posted a video admitting to the violence and apologizing.

I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I’m disgusted. I was disgusted then when I did it. I’m disgusted now,” he said.

Combs said that after the attack, he sought rehab and counseling, adding: “My behavior on that video is inexcusable.”

Read more: Despite apology, Sean 'Diddy' Combs faces peril after video shows him attacking Cassie Ventura

Combs, who has faced several allegations of abusive behavior toward women and is now the subject of a federal sex trafficking investigation, did not address why his legal team had previously denied the abuse claims by Ventura. It is also unclear exactly when the video, first aired by CNN, surfaced.

But an attorney for Ventura, who performs under the name Cassie, was quick to point out the inconsistencies in slamming Combs' apology.

"When Cassie and other multiple women came forward, he denied everything and suggested that his victims were looking for a payday," Meredith Firetog said in a statement. "That he was only compelled to ‘apologize’ once his repeated denials were proven false shows his pathetic desperation, and no one will be swayed by his disingenuous words."

Some legal experts also say the contradictions are concerning.

“Any apology needed to be detailed enough for the public to gain some insight into why he behaved so violently in the first place, and why, after attending counseling and engaging in years of self-reflection, he continued to deny assaulting Cassie,” said Meghan Blanco, an Orange County defense attorney who has experience with federal sex offense cases, said. “This fell far short of that.”

Read more: Sean 'Diddy' Combs seen on video chasing, kicking, dragging then-girlfriend Cassie at L.A. hotel

The recording of the attack, dated March 5, 2016, shows Ventura in a hoodie and carrying a duffel bag, walking in a hotel hallway toward an elevator. Combs can be seen running down the same hallway, shirtless and holding a towel around his waist.

The lawsuit said the violence occurred at the InterContinental hotel in Century City. After Combs fell asleep, Ventura tried to leave the room, the lawsuit stated, but he awoke and “began screaming” at her.

“He followed her into the hallway of the hotel while yelling at her,” the complaint said. “He grabbed at her, and then took glass vases in the hallway and threw them at her, causing glass to crash around them as she ran to the elevator to escape.”

Security video captured from another angle shows Combs grabbing Ventura’s head and throwing her on the ground, where he kicks her multiple times. He can also be seen picking up her bags and trying to drag her back to the first hallway.

The footage also shows Ventura using a hotel phone by the elevators, as well as Combs going back to his hotel room and then separately seemingly shoving Ventura into a corner.

Ventura also accused Combs in her lawsuit of raping her, forcing her to engage in sex acts with male sex workers and introducing her to “a lifestyle of excessive alcohol and substance abuse” that required her “to procure illicit prescriptions to satisfy his own addictions.”

Read more: Behind the calamitous fall of hip-hop mogul Sean 'Diddy' Combs

Three other women have filed civil lawsuits against Combs, who has denied any wrongdoing in the cases. The suits were filed under the Adult Survivors Act, a law that went into effect in November 2022 in New York that gives individuals who believe they were sexually assaulted a one-year window during which they can sue their abusers, even if the statute of limitations for prosecuting the underlying alleged crimes had expired.

Law enforcement sources who were not authorized to speak publicly told The Times that Combs is the subject of a sweeping inquiry into sex-trafficking allegations that resulted in a federal raid in March at his estates in Los Angeles and Miami. Combs has not been charged with any crime and has denied any wrongdoing.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.