Singer and actress Cassie has filed a lawsuit against ex-boyfriend Sean "Diddy" Combs, accusing him of sex trafficking and sexual assault, according to court documents.
Cassie, whose real name is Casandra Ventura, alleges in the filing that she was trafficked, raped and viciously beaten by Combs during the course of their relationship.
"After years in silence and darkness, I am finally ready to tell my story, and to speak up on behalf of myself and for the benefit of other women who face violence and abuse in their relationships," Ventura said in a statement. "With the expiration of New York's Adult Survivors Act fast approaching, it became clear that this was an opportunity to speak up about the trauma I have experienced and that I will be recovering from for the rest of my life."
Combs' attorney, Ben Brafman, issued a statement on his client's behalf, saying the rapper "vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations."
"For the past six months, Mr. Combs, has been subjected to Ms. Ventura's persistent demand of $30 million, under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail," Brafman's statement said. "Despite withdrawing her initial threat, Ms. Ventura has now resorted to filing a lawsuit riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aiming to tarnish Mr. Combs' reputation and seeking a payday."
According to the complaint, Ventura claims the abuse began when she entered into a professional and sexual relationship with Combs when she was just 19 and he was 37.
After signing her to his label, Bad Boy Records, she alleges that Combs "lured her into an ostentatious, fast-paced, and drug-fueled lifestyle, and into a romantic relationship with him -- her boss, one of the most powerful men in the entertainment industry, and a vicious, cruel, and controlling man nearly two decades her senior."
According to the court filings, Ventura alleges Combs "raped Ms. Ventura in her own home after she tried to leave him; often punched, beat, kicked and stomped on Ms. Ventura, resulting in bruises, burst lips, black eye and bleeding; blew up a man's car after he learned that he was romantically interested in Ms. Ventura; forced Ms. Ventura to engage in sex acts with male sex workers while masturbating and filming the encounters; ran out of his apartment with a firearm in pursuit of a rival industry executive whom he learned was nearby; demanded that Ms. Ventura carry his firearm in her purse just to make her uncomfortable and demonstrate how dangerous he is; and introduced Ms. Ventura to a lifestyle of excessive alcohol and substance abuse and required her to procure illicit prescriptions to satisfy his own addictions."
As for why she is filing now, Ventura said in the court documents that the harm she allegedly experienced at the hands of Combs "will forever haunt her" and that she has "required intensive medical and psychological care to recover from the trauma she lived through" and that she "cannot ... continue to live in silence about what she endured."
"Ms. Ventura therefore seeks justice for the decade of her life that Mr. Combs took away from her with threats of violence, excessive use of drugs, physical and psychological abuse, and sexual slavery," the lawsuit continues.
Ventura's lawyer, Douglas Wigdor, said in a statement, "No human should have to endure what Ms. Ventura has endured. Her ability and willingness to speak up against the abuse she suffered, and seeking to hold accountable her abuser and those who enabled the abuse, is a testament to her strength and resilience. We are honored to represent this brave victim in her pursuit of justice."