July 13, 2024

Howard University severs ties with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, ending his $1 million pledge

2 min read

By Joe Kottke and Dennis Romero

The university cited Combs’ “behavior as captured in a recently released video” as the reason for its move.

Howard University on Friday said it was severing ties with music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs as a result of video depicting his assault on ex-girlfriend Cassie in 2016.

The Howard University Board of Trustees moved to disband a scholarship in Combs’ name, terminate a 2016 “gift agreement” in which Combs pledged $1 million through his foundation, and accept the return of his honorary degree, conferred in 2014, according to a school statement.

A vote to accept the return was unanimous, the institution said.

“This acceptance revokes all honors and privileges associated with the degree,” Howard said. “Accordingly, the Board has directed that his name be removed from all documents listing honorary degree recipients of Howard University.”

The move comes as sexual assault allegations and legal challenges mount against Combs, 54, who is the subject of a federal investigation and numerous civil lawsuits. He has denied all sexual assault allegations and vowed to clear his name.

The singer Cassie, 37, whose name is Casandra Ventura, alleged in a since-settled federal lawsuit in November that Combs raped and physically abused her over the course of their relationship.

His attorneys said at the time that the settlement was “in no way an admission of wrongdoing.”

In May, a video was released that showed him beating Cassie in 2016, matching the description of an incident she detailed in her lawsuit. Combs issued an apology for the video, saying that the “behavior on that video is inexcusable” and that the episode from one of his “darkest times” left him disgusted with himself.

Howard University cited the video as part of its decision to cut ties with Combs.

“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 school said.

“The University is unwavering in its opposition to all acts of interpersonal violence,” the statement added.

Since November, six women have detailed assault allegations against Combs in lawsuits, accusations that Combs has denied in previous statements.

Cassie’s suit has been settled, but the others are pending.

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