Howard University rescinds Sean 'Diddy' Combs' honorary degree, citing video of him attacking Cassie Ventura


Howard University trustees on Friday voted to rescind an honorary degree granted to Sean “Diddy” Combs, citing a recently surfaced video of the hip-hop mogul repeatedly attacking Casandra “Cassie” Ventura in a Los Angeles hotel in 2016.

Trustees of the Washington, D.C., university also disbanded a scholarship in Combs’ name and terminated a 2016 “gift agreement” in which Combs had contributed $1 million through his foundation, according to a university statement. His foundation’s future financial pledges have also been canceled.

The university, which Combs attended, said the vote “to accept the return … of the honorary degree conferred upon him in 2014” was unanimous.

“Mr. Combs’ behavior as captured in a recently released video is so fundamentally incompatible with Howard University’s core values and beliefs that he is deemed no longer worthy to hold the institution’s highest honor,” the statement continued. “The university is unwavering in its opposition to all acts of interpersonal violence.”

Friday’s decision is the latest setback for Combs, and comes as federal prosecutors in New York are considering whether a Homeland Security Investigations probe into alleged sex trafficking should result in criminal charges.

In the 2016 video, obtained and published by CNN last month, Combs is seen chasing, kicking, dragging and hurling a glass vase at Ventura, who was his girlfriend at the time. The video seemed to confirm at least some of the physical abuse allegations against the singer detailed in a lawsuit filed in November — accusations Combs had denied.

That lawsuit was settled a day after it was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In it, Ventura alleged that Combs “became extremely intoxicated and punched” her in the face, “giving her a black eye” during an attack in March 2016.

In a video statement posted on Instagram days after the video’s release, Combs said, “My behavior on that video is inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my actions in that video.”

“I was disgusted then when I did it. I’m disgusted now,” he added. “I went and I sought out professional help. I got into going to therapy, going to rehab. I had to ask God for his mercy and grace. I’m so sorry. But I’m committed to be a better man each and every day. I’m not asking for forgiveness. I’m truly sorry.”

Federal prosecutors are preparing grand jury subpoenas for witnesses to testify in the sex-trafficking investigation against Combs, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Investigators have already interviewed several witnesses and told them to be prepared to testify, the source said, though it remains unclear when that testimony will occur or how far federal officials are in determining whether to bring charges. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

Combs has not been charged with any crime and has denied any wrongdoing. The probe was launched after three women, including Ventura, accused him of rape, assault and other abuses dating back three decades.

In March, investigators searching Combs’ Holmby Hills mansion emptied safes, dismantled electronics and left papers strewn in some rooms, sources told The Times.

Combs’ lawyers have strongly criticized the federal probe, calling the searches of his homes “militarized” and a “witch hunt.”





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