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Ms Ventura says she met the rapper in 2005
By Max Matza
BBC News

Rap artist Sean “Diddy” Combs has been accused of rape and sex trafficking by a female singer.

In a lawsuit seen by the BBC, ex-girlfriend Casandra Ventura said she was trapped for a decade in a cycle of abuse and violence.

Mr Combs – who has also gone by the stage name Puff Daddy – denies the allegations, accusing the singer of trying to extort him.

His lawyer said the claims were “offensive and outrageous”.

Ms Ventura – an R&B singer and dancer who performs under the stage name Cassie – alleges that the rap producer raped and beat her over 10 years starting when she was 19 and he was 37.

“After years in silence and darkness, I am finally ready to tell my story,” she said in a statement on Thursday.

The lawsuit includes multiple graphic descriptions of the violent abuse that she says occurred beginning after she met the rapper in 2005.

According to the complaint, Mr Combs signed her to his record label, Bad Boy, and “plied the vulnerable Ms Ventura with drugs and alcohol, causing her to fall into dangerous addictions that controlled her life”.

The lawsuit labels the musician a “serial domestic abuser, who would regularly beat and kick Ms Ventura, leaving black eyes, bruises, and blood”.

In her statement, Ms Ventura said she was ready “to speak up on behalf of myself and for the benefit of other women who face violence and abuse in their relationships”.

In a statement to BBC News, Mr Combs’ lawyer said Ms Ventura had demanded $30m (£24m) “under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship”.

His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said the alleged demand “was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail”.

Sean Combs and Cassie at a 2006 music awards in Copenhagen, Denmark

“Ms Ventura has now resorted to filing a lawsuit riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aiming to tarnish Mr Combs’ reputation, and seeking a pay day,” he added.

In response to Mr Brafman, Ms Ventura’s lawyer, Doug Wigdor, said Mr Combs had offered her a payment of “eight figures to silence her and prevent the filing of this lawsuit”.

“She rejected his efforts and decided to give a voice to all woman who suffer in silence,” he said.

She released several hits in the 2000s, including songs that featured Diddy.

Her most famous tracks include Me & U, Long Way to Go and Official Girl, featuring Lil Wayne.

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5 September