Sean “Diddy” Combs has stepped down as chairman of his music-oriented television network Revolt after being accused of sexual assault in three different lawsuits.
A statement shared via Revolt’s Instagram page on Tuesday, November 28, read: “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.”
The statement concluded by noting that the network’s “focus has always been one that reflects our commitment to the collective journey of REVOLT” rather than one that is “driven by any individual.” Us Weekly has reached out to Diddy, 54, for comment. While the statement didn’t indicate the decision wasn’t permanent, a spokesperson told People that it is a temporary move.
Diddy launched Revolt in 2013 with cofounder Andy Schuon. The rapper’s decision to step aside from his position comes less than two weeks after his ex-girlfriend Cassie filed a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault.
Cassie, 37, (real name Casandra Ventura) was referred to as “a victim of sex trafficking” in the court documents obtained by Us Weekly. She claimed that after she met Diddy in 2005, he began a pattern of abuse which included urging her to take drugs and forcing her to have sex with male prostitutes on camera. She further claimed that Diddy forced his way into her home and raped her in 2018.
Diddy, who had an on-off relationship with Cassie from 2007 to 2018, denied the allegations via a statement from his lawyer.
“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,” his attorney told the New York Times.
One day after Cassie filed the court documents, she and Diddy settled the lawsuit.
“I have decided to resolve this matter amicably on terms that I have some level of control,” Cassie told Us through her attorney Douglas Wigdor on November 17. “I want to thank my family, fans and lawyers for their unwavering support.”
Diddy also released a statement via Wigdor: “We have decided to resolve this matter amicably. I wish Cassie and her family all the best. Love.”
Diddy’s lawyer Ben Brafman subsequently emphasized that a settlement does not indicate guilt.
“Just so we’re clear, a decision to settle a lawsuit, especially in 2023, is in no way an admission of wrongdoing,” Brafman said in a statement to Us on November 18. “Mr. Combs‘ decision to settle the lawsuit does not in any way undermine his flat-out denial of the claims. He is happy they got to a mutual settlement and wishes Ms. Ventura the best.”
After reaching an agreement with Cassie, Diddy was hit with additional allegations. Joi Dickerson-Neal filed a lawsuit on Thursday, November 23, claiming in court documents obtained by Us that Diddy “drugged, sexually abused and assaulted her.” She also claimed to be the victim of “revenge porn” created and distributed by Diddy.
Diddy denied the allegations via a statement to CNN, with his spokesperson calling Dickerson-Neal’s account “made up and not credible” and “nothing but a money grab.”
A third lawsuit was filed the same day as Dickerson-Neal’s. The anonymous plaintiff claimed that Diddy and one of his friends took turns raping her in the early ‘90s. Us reached out to Diddy for comment at the time.
The three lawsuits came ahead of the expiration date for the New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which allowed survivors of sexual assault of file lawsuits regardless of when the incident occurred. The act expired on November 24.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).