Diddy Steps Down As Revolt Chairman
This month, one of Hip-Hop’s most influential and successful moguls is the center of multiple accusations from two women, including one of his artists and ex-girlfriends. In the wake of these allegations, including a recent eight-figure settlement, Sean “Diddy” Combs has stepped down as Chairman of Revolt. The decision comes as Diddy has achieved billionaire status for his work in music, fashion, spirits, and commercial pop culture. Combs founded Revolt in 2013. In addition to a digital cable television network that distributes programs on music, social justice, and entertainment, Revolt hosts offline events and has online media arms.
The network and media publication announced the news today (November 28). In a statement published on social media, Revolt announced, “Sean Combs has stepped down from his position as chairman of Revolt. 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.” In its report, TMZ claimed the move was temporary.
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This month, Sean “Diddy” Combs has accused of serious sexual misconduct as well as physical abuse in a lawsuit by Cassie, a former Bad Boy Records artist who also dated Combs for approximately a decade after signing to the label as a 19 year-old in 2005. The R&B artist born Cassandra Ventura filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan this month. The New York Times reported the details of that suit, including, Cassie’s allegations that “not long after she met [Diddy] in 2005, when she was 19, he began a pattern of control and abuse that included plying her with drugs, beating her and forcing her to have sex with a succession of male prostitutes while he filmed the encounters.” The suited claimed that in 2018, towards the end of the couple’s relationship, Combs forced his way into her home and engaged in sex without Cassie’s consent.
“After years in silence and darkness,” Cassie said in a corresponding statement, “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.”
Following the lawsuit going public, Diddy’s attorney Ben Brafman released a statement. “Mr. Combs 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. 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’s reputation and seeking a payday.” Reports from Combs’ camp suggested an eight-figure offer was made to Ventura as a preventative measure ahead of the suit and public statement.
Despite asserting his innocence, Diddy and his team reached an out-of-court settlement with Cassie in less than a week. Details of that arrangement were not made public. In a statement, Combs said, “We have decided to resolve this matter amicably. I wish Cassie and her family all the best. Love.”
Less than a week after that settlement, another allegation surfaced. This accuser, Joi Dickerson-Neal, claimed that in 1991, Combs of drugging her during an evening out in New York when she was a student on a break from Syracuse University. The suit alleges Dickerson-Neal was driven to a temporary residence of Combs, where he had sex with her without consent and filmed the encounter. According to TMZ, the 1991 allegation also involves Jodeci member Aaron Hall, with whom Combs worked with at Uptown Records.
According to The New York Times, a Diddy spokesperson rejected the validity of those claims. The rep Nathalie Moar said Combs “completely denied and rejected” the claims of misconduct. “He recognizes this as a money grab.” The statement added, “Because of Mr. Combs’s fame and success, he is an easy target for accusers who will falsify the truth, without conscience or consequence, for financial benefit.”
This month, one of Diddy’s former Bad Boy executives, Harve Pierre, was accused of sexual misconduct by a former assistant, in a complaint published by Rolling Stone. That documented cited physical, emotional, and psychological injuries. In addition to serving as a longtime president of Combs’ music company, Pierre also performed under the alias “Joe Hooker,” working with The Notorious B.I.G., Lil’ Kim, and others. Bad Boy, which Pierre’s LinkedIn claimed he was part owner, told The Cut, “We have recently become aware of a lawsuit filed in New York by a former employee. The allegations are from many years ago that were never brought to the attention of the company,” the statement reads, adding, “we are now investigating the allegations, and our top priority is the safety and well-being of our employees.” Diddy has since launched another label, Love Records, which has been distributed through Motown.
Outside of statements and photos outside his residence, Sean Combs has refrained from public appearances following these allegations. In September, he released The Love Album: Off The Grid. The Love Records release features Busta Rhymes, The Weeknd, Ty Dolla Sign, and others. Several of Diddy’s former rivals, including 50 Cent and the incarcerated Suge Knight, have mocked and condemned Combs for these allegations.
Previously, Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons and LaFace Records co-founder Antonio “L.A.” Reid—two men that Diddy has worked with—have been accused of sexual misconduct. Neither has been convicted of these crimes.