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Cassie After Sean Combs Footage: ‘Open Your Heart to Believing Victims’

Cassie, the singer who accused Sean Combs of years of physical and sexual abuse in a lawsuit that she settled, on Thursday addressed footage of the music mogul assaulting her that emerged last week, saying in an Instagram post that domestic violence had broken her down to “someone I never thought I would become.”

“Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to take this matter seriously,” the singer, whose full name is Casandra Ventura, wrote in the post. “My only ask is that EVERYONE open your heart to believing victims the first time. It takes a lot of heart to tell the truth out of a situation that you were powerless in.”

It is the first time that Ms. Ventura has spoken publicly about her accusations against Mr. Combs, whom she dated for about a decade, since her lawsuit was filed last November and settled in one day. Since then, as Mr. Combs has faced a cascade of legal troubles, Ms. Ventura has spoken about her claims only through her lawyer, who released a statement calling the footage of the assault “gut-wrenching” when it was published by CNN last week.

In the footage from 2016, which appeared to come from security cameras, Ms. Ventura is seen waiting for an elevator in a hotel when Mr. Combs, wearing a towel, grabs the back of her sweatshirt and throws her to the ground, kicking her twice before dragging her down the hallway away from the elevators. The video corroborates some of the details from Ms. Ventura’s lawsuit, which recalls Mr. Combs assaulting her at an InterContinental Hotel in Los Angeles in 2016 as she tried to leave.

Although his lawyer denied the allegations in the lawsuit at the time, Mr. Combs released an apology video following the release of the footage, saying that he took “full responsibility” for his actions and that he had since been to therapy and rehab.

A pop and R&B singer who was connected to Mr. Combs’s label, Bad Boy Records, until 2019, Ms. Ventura said in her lawsuit that her relationship with Mr. Combs — which she said involved him plying her with drugs, beating her and forcing her to have sex with male prostitutes — came to consume both her career and her personal life.

“The outpouring of love has created a place for my younger self to settle and feel safe now, but this is only the beginning,” Cassie wrote in the post. “Domestic Violence is THE issue.”

She went on: “With a lot of hard work, I am better today, but I will always be recovering from my past.”

Since her lawsuit, four other women have sued Mr. Combs, accusing him of sexual assault, including one in a complaint that was filed this week. Mr. Combs’s lawyers have been fighting those lawsuits in court, and he has described them as “sickening allegations” made against him by “individuals looking for a quick payday.”

His legal troubles appeared to mount in March, when federal agents raided two of his homes, confiscating electronic devices in what officials said was at least in part a human trafficking investigation.

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