Advertisement

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs steps down as Revolt chairman amid sexual assault lawsuits

Sean Combs has stepped down from his position as chairman of the television network Revolt after three sexual assault lawsuits were filed against him in a week.

Combs, formerly known as Puff Daddy, P Diddy and several other names, co-founded the music-focused network with Andy Schuon in 2013.

In a statement posted on social media, Revolt confirmed that Combs has stepped down as chairman.

The statement added: “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.”

It concluded: “Our focus has always been one that reflects our commitment to the collective journey of Revolt — one that is not driven by any individual, but by the shared efforts and values of our entire team on behalf of advancing elevating and championing our culture — and that continues.”

The news comes after three separate women filed lawsuits against Combs in the space of a week, laying out allegations of sexual and physical abuse, coercive control and violence.

Cassie Ventura and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs at the 2017 Met Gala (Getty Images)
Cassie Ventura and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs at the 2017 Met Gala (Getty Images)

He quickly settled one suit filed by former long-term girlfriend Cassie Ventura, an artist nearly 20 years his junior who had accused him of rape, sex trafficking and abuse.

In a statement shared by her lawyers, Ventura said she wanted to resolve the matter “on terms that I have some level of control”.

Another suit, filed by a New York woman named  Joi Dickerson-Neal, alleges that Combs drugged and raped her in 1991. In court documents filed last Thursday, demanding a jury trial, Dickerson-Neal alleges that Combs took her out to dinner in New York City, but “getting into Combs’ car that day was something Ms Dickerson would come to regret forever”.

“During their date, Combs had intentionally drugged Ms Dickerson, resulting in her being in a physical state where she could not independently stand or walk,” continues the complaint, seen by The Independent, which goes on to allege that Combs assaulted Dickerson-Neal and filmed her without her consent.

The third suit, filed by an unnamed woman referred to only as Jane Doe, also includes allegations of sexual coercion.

In the years after the alleged assaults, Combs would go on to found his own label, Bad Boys Records, helping to produce Mary J Blige and Biggie Smalls and become one of the most influential hip-hop producers and executives in the genre’s history.

A spokesperson for Combs told The Independent: “These are fabricated claims falsely alleging misconduct from over 30 years ago and filed at the last minute. This is nothing but a money grab. Because of Mr. Combs’ fame and success, he is an easy target for anonymous accusers who lie without conscience or consequence for financial benefit.

“The New York Legislature surely did not intend or expect the Adult Survivors Act to be exploited by scammers. The public should be skeptical and not rush to accept these bogus allegations.”

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.