With his head slightly bowed, Sean “Diddy” Combs speaks directly into the camera. “I’m really sorry,” he says at the end of his one-minute video message, in which he apologizes for a physical attack, apparently against an ex-girlfriend. The US rapper was reacting to a surveillance video from a hotel in 2016 that surfaced on Friday. The US broadcaster CNN had published the video with shocking scenes of violence in a hotel hallway.

“My behavior in the video is inexcusable,” Combs said in his recording on Instagram. He takes “full responsibility” for his behavior; he was disgusted by it then and now. This was one of the “darkest” times in his life. He was at an absolute low point, but after that he sought help and went to therapy and rehab.

The footage from the hotel apparently shows Combs abusing his then-girlfriend Casandra Ventura in a hallway. In the video, he can be seen hitting the woman, throwing her to the ground, kicking her several times and dragging the victim across the floor. The woman, on her way to an elevator, is fully clothed and has two bags with her. Combs runs after her, wearing only his socks, with a towel wrapped around his waist.

Civil lawsuit and settlement

The singer Ventura, whose stage name is Cassie, had accused Combs in a civil lawsuit of, among other things, sexual abuse, rape, intimidation and physical violence during their long-term relationship. Cassie and Combs agreed to a settlement last November. However, the musician has so far vehemently rejected allegations of violence.

Cassie’s lawyer, Douglas Wigdor, responded to the publication of the video on Friday with a statement that was available to the German Press Agency. In it, he wrote that the “heartbreaking video” was further evidence of Combs’ “disturbing” behavior. Wigdor noted his client’s “courage” and “strength” in bringing this behavior to light.

Several women have made similar allegations against Combs in the past. Combs, one of the most successful representatives of the hip-hop industry, who also works as a record producer, actor and in other business areas, had always rejected such allegations.

Lawsuits of rape and abuse

Last September, Combs (“Bad Boy for Life”, “I’ll Be Missing You”) was widely celebrated at the MTV Video Music Awards. He received the “Global Icon Award” for his career and his influence on the music world. But then the hip-hop star faced multiple civil lawsuits alleging rape and abuse.

In December 2023, an unnamed woman filed a lawsuit accusing Combs and two other men of drugging and raping her when she was 17 in the rapper’s New York studio in 2003. In February, producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, who worked with Combs on his Grammy-nominated record “The Love Album: Off the Grid,” filed suit in federal court in New York.

He accuses Combs of sexually harassing, drugging and threatening him over a period of over a year. Jones also witnessed several times how the rapper, his employees and other people engaged in “seriously illegal activities,” the NBC broadcaster quoted from the lawsuit.

In March, raids in Los Angeles and Miami made headlines. US investigators searched the rapper’s houses there. However, the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agency initially did not provide any information about the background. Combs’ lawyers reacted quickly and spoke of a “witch hunt” as a result of “unfounded allegations” made in civil lawsuits against Combs. The musician is innocent and will continue to fight to clear his name.