Diddy's Graphic Footage: How brands cut ties amid allegations

Diddy Combs

A fortnight ago, disturbing footage of disgraced Hip Hop mogul Sean 'Diddy' Combs assaulting his ex-girlfriend Cassie Ventura emerged.

The chilling clip, released exclusively by CNN, was obtained from a hotel where the pair stayed in 2016.

Diddy is seen dragging, hitting, and kicking Cassie, matching allegations she made in a now-settled federal lawsuit.

“In the video, Ventura exits a hotel room and walks to a bank of elevators. Combs, holding a towel around his waist, runs down a hall after Ventura. He grabs her by the back of the neck and throws her to the floor. Still holding his towel closed with one hand, he then turns to kick her,” CNN reports.

The report adds: “As Ventura is on the ground, Combs retrieves a purse and suitcase from the floor near the elevators. He turns around and kicks Ventura again as she lies motionless on the floor. About four seconds transpire between the two kicks, according to the video. He then briefly drags Ventura by her sweatshirt toward a room before walking away.”

The footage shows Diddy continuing to beat and shove Cassie before forcefully throwing an object at her.

As soon as the footage was released on May 17, it caused a stir, with fans and high-profile personalities airing their opinions on the matter. ‘Diddy defenders’ have had to lay low while anti-gender-based violence activists have rallied, calling for abusers to face justice, no matter their status and influence.

Cassie's attorney Douglas Wigdor told news outlets in a statement: “The gut-wrenching video has only further confirmed the disturbing and predatory behavior of Mr. Combs. Words cannot express the courage and fortitude that Ms. Ventura has shown in coming forward to bring this to light.”

Her allegations against Diddy were first made public in November 2023 after filing the lawsuit, which, on top of years of abuse, accused him of rape and sex trafficking.

The two settled out of court, with Cassie noting through a statement that she had decided to "resolve the matter amicably on terms" that she "had some level of control on."

“A decision to settle a lawsuit, especially in 2023, is in no way an admission of wrongdoing,” an attorney for Diddy, Ben Brafman, said. “Mr. Combs‘ decision to settle the lawsuit does not in any way undermine his flat-out denial of the claims. He is happy they got to a mutual settlement and wishes Ms. Ventura the best.”

There is piling pressure on Diddy to speak up, and major brands that he has been affiliated with have had to disassociate with him, in what Rolling Stone described as a “fallout that has seen 18 companies flee.”

The companies confirmed to the magazine that they had cut business relationships with Diddy’s recently launched platform Empower Global in December.

“Empower Global, founded by Combs in 2021, is an immersive e-commerce, digital marketplace offering products from Black-owned businesses around the world. The platform is said to ‘elevate the Black economy by creating opportunities for Black entrepreneurs to build and scale successful businesses’ for consumers,” The Hill reports. Brands that have severed ties with the rapper and producer include Revolt TV, a digital cable network he helped launch in 2013, Macy’s department store, and London-based spirits giant Diageo.

A day after federal agents raided Diddy’s L.A. and Miami homes, TMZ reported that Diddy had sold all his shares of Revolt TV to an anonymous new owner.

“Sean Combs has stepped down from his position as Chairman of Revolt,” a statement from the network read. “While Mr Combs has previously had no operational or day-to-day role in the business, 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.”

Forbes reports that brands have had to take a stand in the wake of accusations against Diddy, and they are not waiting for him to prove his innocence in court, especially with a vigilant, strict, and outspoken generation of audiences and customers on the lookout.

“Swift action is crucial in situations like these, especially for brands that market to Gen Z. Because as we should all know by now, for Gen Z, social justice is a non-negotiable. They demand transparency and values from brands and hold brands accountable,” the business magazine notes, adding, “Gone are the days when brands could turn a blind eye to serious allegations.”

“What’s more, in a world of social media power, 70 percent of Gen Z is on the frontlines for change, using their voices to hold brands accountable and won't hesitate to boycott brands that fall short. The lesson from Diddy's lost partnerships is loud and clear: brands must walk the talk on their beliefs and convictions.”


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