The Diddy video fallout: Women are coming forward with their own stories of domestic abuse

People like Alyssa Farah Green, Kristin Chenoweth and model Crystal McKinney have shared their personal experiences

By Nardos Haile

Staff Writer

Published May 22, 2024 5:31PM (EDT)

Sean "Diddy" Combs and Cassie Ventura attend Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City. (Taylor Jewell/Getty Images for Vogue)
Sean "Diddy" Combs and Cassie Ventura attend Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City. (Taylor Jewell/Getty Images for Vogue)

A new chapter in the Diddy saga has unfolded. 

The rapper and former CEO of Bad Boy Entertainment, known as Sean Combs, has felt the fallout of a bombshell lawsuit filed by his long-time ex-partner Cassie Ventura last year. While the lawsuit that alleged a decade of pervasive sexual assault, drugging and sex trafficking was settled a day after it was filed, the former music executive has been subject to a multitude of subsequent lawsuits detailing similar claims. However, just last weekend, a video of Combs physically assaulting Ventura in 2016 was widely circulated.

The video explicitly showed Ventura in the hallway of The InterContinental Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles. As she attempted to flee Combs, he followed her down the hallway and knocked her to the ground. The video also showed Combs kicking Ventura and dragging her to the floor back to their room.

While Ventura declined to comment on the video, her attorney said, “The gut-wrenching video has only further confirmed the disturbing and predatory behavior of Mr. Combs. Words cannot express the courage and fortitude that Ms. Ventura has shown in coming forward to bring this to light."

As a result of the violent video's wide circulation, it has ignited larger conversations with survivors of domestic abuse speaking to their own experiences. People like "The View" co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin and Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth both shared how the Combs video has triggered the memories of their own experiences. 

During a conversation with other "The View" hosts about Diddy's video and the painful, complicated dynamics surrounding abusive relationships, Griffin said that she wanted to speak to the question people ask of women in abusive relationships: "Why didn't she leave?"

"I once was a victim of domestic abuse in a prior relationship," Griffin said. "It happened once. I was one of the lucky ones where the power dynamics were in my favor — where I could leave, I could walk away, I could remove myself from him. In the vast majority of cases, that is not the case."

Griffin continued, "[Abusers] use financial abuse to keep you, emotional manipulation, and add to that that this is a multi-millionaire, incredibly powerful, incredibly well-connected person."

Another person, who also publicly shared her story was Broadway-winning talent, Chenoweth. She took to X to reveal that the video of Combs was "bothering me so much." The actress received backlash in her replies for saying, "The main thing I need to do is pray for him." 

A reply to her post also highlighted a person's own experience with domestic abuse: "I survived 5 yrs of relentless violence by an ex. Once, he heard me praying for him, and it enraged him. No prayer can change evil. I began praying to be delivered from his evil. March 29, 2021, was my day of deliverance. Plz pray for victims' deliverance, not for evil abusers."

Chenoweth replied in a post that has now been viewed a million times. She stated that she "Never wanted to come out with it, but here we go.

"Several years ago I was severely abused. It took me therapy and prayer to understand I deserved better. I was deeply injured physically and spiritually. The only thing I knew to do when I got out was pray. Pray for myself. Pray for him as he grew up abused. So. There y'all go," she said. 

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Additionally, she said, "A victim has to handle it however [she/he/they] needs to and is best for them." She shared that in talking about her experience, "maybe it helped someone."

However, despite the initial reluctance to share her experiences, Chenoweth said, "I think it happening organically was a Godsend. In some weird way I’m relieved." Countless people supported the actress including actors like Uzo Aduba and Brittney Johnson. Others also felt comfortable enough to share their experiences as well.

For Combs, legal experts have stated, "His career is effectively done." Moreover, after the release of the video, another lawsuit was filed by a model Crystal McKinney on Tuesday in New York. In claims similar to the handful of lawsuits filed against Combs earlier this year, McKinney said in the lawsuit that Combs said she “was going to make it big one day" as a model before allegedly drugging and assaulting her. She said she was introduced to the music mogul when she was 22 and he was 34. 

By Nardos Haile

Nardos Haile is a staff writer at Salon covering culture. She’s previously covered all things entertainment, music, fashion and celebrity culture at The Associated Press. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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