Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs addressed the veritable tsunami of sexual assault lawsuits from multiple alleged victim-survivors, that have ensued in the wake of a lawsuit filed by his former girlfriend, singer Cassandra ‘Cassie’ Ventura on November 16, 2023.
Diddy’s legal team has denied all of the previous allegations. However, today he took to Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter, to post a personal statement in the wake of a fourth lawsuit:
“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. 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.”
Unveiling the Wave of Allegations
Ms. Ventura’s lawsuit included shocking allegations of coercive control, rape, and sex trafficking. The ‘Bad Boy For Life’ singer’s legal team promptly settled the matter out of court within 24 hours. Nevertheless, her legal action seemingly opened the floodgates. Three more alleged victim-survivors of the entertainment mogul have come forward with equally alarming claims.
The second lawsuit was filed in Manhattan’s Supreme Court by Ms. Joi Dickerson-Neal. She alleges that she was drugged, raped, and subjected to “revenge porn” by Mr. Combs. She claims that Mr. Combs circulated the tape to their peers in the entertainment industry, causing “severe harm to Ms. Dickerson-Neal’s reputation, career prospects, and emotional well-being.” The alleged assault took place when she was a psychology student at Syracuse University in 1991.
A third lawsuit was filed by Liza Gardner The alleged victim-survivor claims that she and a friend were pressured into having sex with Mr. Combs and subsequently forced to have sex with the singer Aaron Hall. Furthermore, she alleges that the billionaire returned to her home to urge both women not to report the incident. The plaintiff says that Mr. Combs subjected her to non-fatal strangulation, causing her to lose consciousness.
The fourth lawsuit was filed in Manhattan on December 6 by an individual who claims they were gang-raped by Mr. Combs and two other men in 2003.
Expiration of New York’s Adult Survivors Act
The law suits were filed upon the expiration of New York’s Adult Survivors Act in November 2023, so that they might avail of the 12 month “look-back period” for claims that might have exceeded the statute of limitations. The latest lawsuit was filed under the New York City Victims of Gender Motivated Violence Protection Law (VGMVPL), which grants victim-survivors the right to take legal action against perpetrators.
The Reality of Gender-Motivated Violence
Gender-motivated violence causes severe physical, psychological, emotional, and economic harm to its victim-survivors. According to congressional findings, it is the primary cause of illness and injuries for women aged 15 to 44. Disturbing statistics reveal that 3 out of 4 women will experience gender-motivated violence crime at some point in their lives, with approximately 4 million women subjected to domestic violence annually.
Legal Framework and Challenges
Senate hearings, various task forces, and the United States Department of Justice have all highlighted that victim-survivors of gender-motivated violence often encounter attitudes of indifference, dismissiveness, and hostility within the court system. This is especially true for claims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Victim-survivors often face daunting challenges within the legal system.
To address the pervasive issue of gender-motivated violence, Congress took action in 1994 by granting victim-survivors a legal recourse in federal court through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) (42 U.S.C. § 13981). However, a significant development took place on May 15, 2000, when the United States Supreme Court determined that the Constitution did not establish a federal cause of action for victim-survivors of gender-motivated violence against their perpetrators.
The Court decided that neither the Commerce Clause nor the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment supported a constitutional basis for such action. In this decision, the Supreme Court highlighted the significance of police power, an authority held by the States rather than the Federal Government, especially concerning suppressing violent crime and vindicating victim-survivors. Understanding the legal context of gender-motivated violence is crucial for advocates and the public to address this pervasive issue effectively.
Cassie Ventura’s lawsuit against Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, involving coercive control, rape, and sex trafficking, has encouraged three additional alleged victim-survivors to seek legal recourse in the 12-month “look back period” following the expiration of New York’s Adult Survivors Act. The New York City Victims of Gender Motivated Violence Protection Law empowers victim-survivors to seek justice against perpetrators. The pervasive issue of gender-motivated violence, continues to face a complex legal system that is inclined to marginalizing victim-survivors. Mr. Combs continues to deny any wrongdoing through his legal team and on his social media.