Report: Diddy accusers could face a federal grand jury, as violent college stories surface

Things appear to be heating up for the rapper between legal issues and a Rolling Stone report

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Staff Writer

Published May 29, 2024 5:37PM (EDT)

Sean "Diddy" Combs attends Sean "Diddy" Combs Fulfills $1 Million Pledge To Howard University At Howard Homecoming – Yardfest at Howard University on October 20, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images for Sean "Diddy" Combs)
Sean "Diddy" Combs attends Sean "Diddy" Combs Fulfills $1 Million Pledge To Howard University At Howard Homecoming – Yardfest at Howard University on October 20, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images for Sean "Diddy" Combs)

The latest update in the ongoing media flurry around Sean "Diddy" Combs could see his accusers stand before a federal grand jury in New York City to testify about their alleged assault at the hands of the disgraced rapper and producer.

A CNN report published Wednesday indicated that women who have accused Combs of sexual assault have been told that they could be brought before a federal grand jury by investigators to serve as witnesses, which could lead to Combs' subsequent indictment, per two sources who spoke to the outlet.

Over the past several months, Combs has faced a number of civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault, drugging, and sex trafficking. In March, federal agents raided two of his estates in connection to the sex trafficking probe. Combs has denied the civil lawsuits' veracity. In December of 2023, he claimed in an Instagram post that "individuals looking for a quick payday" were deliberately trying to "assassinate my character, destroy my reputation and my legacy."

However, those denials may have been undermined this month, when a piece of evidence emerged in connection to Combs' relationship with his ex-girlfriend of more than a decade and one of the people to sue him, Cassie Ventura. Surveillance footage of Combs physically assaulting Ventura during a 2016 stay at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles, went viral. Ventura's suit stated that the Bad Boy Records founder and billionaire mogul was a "serial domestic abuser, who would regularly beat and kick Ms. Ventura, leaving black eyes, bruises and blood."

While Combs and Ventura had reached an undisclosed settlement, the recently released footage reverberated across the internet, with Combs ultimately posting a response in which he said,  "I was f***ed up. I mean, I hit rock bottom. But I make no excuses. My behavior on that video is inexcusable."

CNN's sources indicated that the potential witnesses have not yet been readied for testimony, noting that the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agency is still amassing evidence and being as thorough as possible to ensure that any potential indictment will be "bulletproof." As CNN noted, HSI looks into various forms of organized criminal activity, including narcotics smuggling. “It’s much bigger than just these lawsuits,” one of the sources said. Per CNN's sources, multiple accusers have already spoken to investigators on several occasions, with some even sharing evidence that may be of use. Such evidence has included a video obtained from one of Combs' estates. While it has not yet been discerned whether the tape was taken during the March raids, a source asserted, "They are contacting people that they’ve found on the tapes."

CNN's Wednesday update follows a report on Combs published Tuesday by Rolling Stone detailing his alleged history of violent behavior that spanned as far back as his college days at Howard University. The outlet claimed to have spoken to 50 sources connected to Combs' social and professional lives in some way.

One source claimed to have witnessed Combs, then known by his nickname Puff, "acting crazy" and "beating" his then-girlfriend outside one of the university's buildings. Another Howard student who reportedly saw the attack said that Combs was using what appeared to be a belt to hit the woman "all over the place.” The witness added that Combs appeared “super angry” and was “screaming at the top of his lungs," and that the woman was “trying to defend herself a little bit. She was crying. And we were telling him, ‘Get off of her.’ We were screaming for her.” Combs “whupped her butt," they said. "Like really whupped her butt."

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Gabriella Ferrigine is a staff writer at Salon. Originally from the Jersey Shore, she moved to New York City in 2016 to attend Columbia University, where she received her B.A. in English and M.A. in American Studies. Formerly a staff writer at NowThis News, she has an M.A. in Magazine Journalism from NYU and was previously a news fellow at Salon.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Aggregate Assault Cassie Ventura Cnn Diddy Howard University Rolling Stone Sean Combs