Howard Ends Ties With Diddy

Howard Ends Ties With Diddy

Howard University has officially severed ties with Sean “Diddy” Combs, rescinding his honorary degree and disbanding a scholarship program named after him. This decision follows the release of a 2016 video showing Combs assaulting his former girlfriend, Cassie Ventura. The university’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept the return of Combs’s honorary degree, which he received in 2014, and to terminate a 2016 gift agreement in which Combs pledged $1 million to the institution.

The university’s statement emphasized that Combs’s behavior, as captured in the video, is fundamentally incompatible with Howard University’s core values and beliefs. The board also directed the university to return Combs’s $1 million contribution and dissolve a 2023 pledge agreement with the Sean Combs Foundation. The university reiterated its unwavering opposition to all acts of interpersonal violence.

Combs, who attended Howard but did not graduate, was given an honorary degree in 2014 and delivered the commencement speech that year. However, his recent actions have led the university to revoke all honors and privileges associated with the degree. The board has also instructed that his name be removed from all documents listing honorary degree recipients of Howard University.

The video, which surfaced in May, shows Combs assaulting Ventura at a Los Angeles hotel in 2016. The footage depicts him throwing her to the floor, kicking her, and dragging her away off-screen. Combs apologized after the video was published, stating on Instagram that his behavior was inexcusable and that he took full responsibility for his actions.

Ventura’s attorney confirmed that the video corroborated allegations she made against Combs in a now-settled lawsuit, which accused him of physical and sexual abuse. According to the lawsuit, Combs paid the hotel $50,000 for the security footage. At the time of the lawsuit, Combs’s attorney described the allegations as outrageous lies and maintained that the settlement did not change his flat-out denial of the claims.

Following the video’s release, Ventura issued a statement thanking her supporters and emphasizing the importance of believing victims of domestic violence. She did not mention Combs directly but highlighted the ongoing impact of her past experiences.

Combs faces multiple lawsuits, including accusations of sexual assault, violent behavior, and sex trafficking, spanning decades. He has not been charged with any crimes and has denied all wrongdoing. An attorney representing him previously stated that Combs views these lawsuits as a money grab.

Howard University has taken a firm stance against Combs, citing the video as a key factor in their decision to cut ties. The university’s statement reiterated its commitment to ending sexual assault and other forms of interpersonal violence within the community. Howard students sign a pledge upon enrollment that includes a promise to uphold these values.

Combs offered an apology on Instagram shortly after the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that the 2016 assault, while caught on tape, occurred beyond the timeline where a crime of assault can be prosecuted. He claimed to take full responsibility for the incident and stated that he has since sought professional help, therapy, and rehabilitation.

Last year, Combs settled a lawsuit with Ventura over her allegations of abuse and rape over the course of their 10-year relationship. Despite the settlement, Combs took to social media to deny the allegations, a post that now includes a community note linking to the footage.

In March, the FBI raided Combs’s house, and although he has not been arrested or charged, an investigation is reportedly active. Howard University reported an endowment of $865.3 million last year before returning its gifts from Combs, with a goal of reaching $1 billion by 2024.

The university’s decision to sever ties with Combs follows a series of lawsuits and sexual assault allegations against him. Six women have detailed assault allegations in lawsuits, accusations that Combs has denied. While Cassie’s suit has been settled, the others are pending.

Howard University remains steadfast in its opposition to interpersonal violence and has taken decisive action to distance itself from Combs. The institution’s commitment to its core values and beliefs has led to the revocation of Combs’s honorary degree and the termination of financial ties with him.

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