Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs returns key to New York City after video of him attacking Cassie surfaces

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs returns key to New York City after video of him attacking Cassie surfaces

Sean “Diddy” Combs has returned his ceremonial key to New York City following a request from Mayor Eric Adams. This decision comes in the wake of a recently surfaced video showing the music mogul assaulting his former girlfriend, R&B singer Cassie Ventura. The footage, which dates back to 2016, has reignited public outrage and led to significant repercussions for Combs.

The mayor’s office confirmed that Combs returned the key after Adams sent letters to the rapper’s offices in New York and California on June 4. The letters rescinded the key and requested its return to City Hall. The city received the key on June 10.

In his letter, Adams expressed his deep disturbance over the attack, stating, “I strongly condemn these actions and stand in solidarity with all survivors of domestic and gender-based violence.” The mayor emphasized that the Key to the City is awarded to individuals who exemplify model citizenship, a standard Combs no longer meets.

Combs’ career has been marred by numerous allegations of sexual abuse and a federal sex trafficking investigation, which led to raids on his homes in Los Angeles and Miami. The release of the surveillance video by CNN in May showed Combs attacking Cassie in a Los Angeles hotel hallway, an incident for which he has since apologized, calling his actions “inexcusable.”

Cassie, whose real name is Cassandra Ventura, sued Combs last year, leading to increased scrutiny of the rapper. The lawsuit was settled a day after it was filed, but the damage to Combs’ reputation was already done.

Adams had awarded Combs the key to the city at a ceremony last year, coinciding with the release of a new album. However, the recent developments have led to a reevaluation of that decision. Howard University also rescinded an honorary degree awarded to Combs and ended a scholarship program in his name following the video’s release.

Combs, the founder of Bad Boy Records, has been a significant figure in the hip-hop industry for the past three decades, turning his musical success into a business empire. Despite his achievements, the recent allegations and the video have cast a long shadow over his legacy.

An email sent to a representative for Combs was not immediately returned.

The video, which shows Combs shirtless with a towel wrapped around his waist, depicts him chasing Cassie down a hotel hallway. He grabs her by the back of the head, slams her to the ground, and kicks her as she lies motionless. He then drags her back to their room by her hoodie. The footage has been described as “disturbing” and has led to widespread condemnation.

In response to the video’s release, Combs posted an apology video on Instagram. “I hit rock bottom, but I make no excuses,” he said. “My behavior in that video is inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my actions. I’m disgusted by what I did then, and I’m disgusted now. I sought professional help, went to therapy, and rehab. I’m committed to being a better man each and every day. I’m not asking for forgiveness; I’m truly sorry.”

Cassie’s attorney, Meredith Firetog, criticized Combs’ apology, stating, “Combs’ most recent statement is more about himself than the many people he has hurt. When Cassie and multiple other women came forward, he denied everything and suggested that his victims were looking for a payday. 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.”

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has stated that they cannot prosecute Combs for the assault due to the statute of limitations. California’s statute of limitations for simple assault is one year, and for aggravated assault, it is three years. Given the timeline, no charges can be brought against Combs.

The Key to the City of New York is presented to individuals whose service to the public and the common good rises to the highest level of achievement and who act as a model for fellow and future New Yorkers. Adams’ letter to Combs emphasized that the committee recommended nullifying and rescinding the key, a recommendation the mayor accepted.

Combs, who was born in a public housing project in Harlem and raised in Mount Vernon, has made significant contributions to his community, including co-founding the Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School. However, the recent revelations have overshadowed these contributions.

As the fallout from the video continues, Combs’ future remains uncertain. The public and his peers in the entertainment industry will be watching closely to see how he navigates this challenging period.

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