Diddy’s settlement with his former artist and girlfriend Cassie over her sexual assault lawsuit came before a slew of other sexual abuse allegations and lawsuits against him, and now those accusations have created shock waves across his business partnerships. So far 18 brands are distancing themselves from the mogul and his business venture Empower Global.
Diddy owns an Amazon competitor called Empower Global, but the e-commerce platform, designed to support Black businesses, is starting to crumble in response to the recent lawsuits against him. Rolling Stone reports that 18 companies have cut ties with Empower.
Fallout From Lawsuits
As Finurah previously reported, on Nov. 16, Cassie filed a lawsuit against the billionaire, accusing him of sexual and physical abuse. She was seeking $30 million in damages. The story broke further headlines when the mogul settled the lawsuit privately and quickly one day later.
Cassie, who claims that Diddy has been sexually abusing her in a decade-long relationship, was able to file a lawsuit through the Adult Survivors Act, a New York State law enacted in May 2022 that allows victims of sexual offenses with expired statutes of limitations to file civil suits for one year, from Nov. 24, 2022, to Nov. 24, 2023.
Since then, three more alleged victims have come forward, including a Detroit woman who claims she was sex trafficked and “gang raped” by Diddy, another former Bad Boy executive, and a third unidentified man in 2003 when she was in New York at age 17.
No More Business With Diddy
Established by Combs in 2021, Empower Global is an immersive e-commerce digital marketplace that showcases products from Black-owned businesses worldwide. The platform’s mission is to empower the Black economy by providing opportunities for Black entrepreneurs to establish and expand thriving enterprises, catering to consumers’ needs.
Although not all 18 brands leaving Empower have been identified, Rolling Stone highlights a handful of Black businesswomen and female supporters who expressed dissatisfaction with Diddy’s lawsuits.
“This decision was made on the day that Casandra Ventura filed her lawsuit,” Annette Njau, founder of luxury bag, eyewear, and apparel company House of Takura, told Rolling Stone. “We take the allegations against Mr. Combs very seriously and find such behavior abhorrent and intolerable. We believe in victims’ rights, and support victims in speaking their truth, even against the most powerful of people.”
Lenard Grier, co-founder of No One Clothiers, told Rolling Stone, “While this decision was difficult due [to] the reverence we once held for Mr. Combs as a leader in business and entertainment, it was clearly the correct choice. Our brand is founded on the belief that every individual is important and worthy of respect, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, etc. The allegations against Mr. Combs are in direct conflict with these beliefs. In turn, we felt a moral imperative to end our relationship.”
In addition to the Empower exodus, Diddy has had to make other concessions to appease his companies’ boards. He stepped down as chairman of his media network Revolt, on Nov. 28. The NYC charter school he helped found, Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School, cut ties with him, and it has been reported that Macy’s will phase out his Sean Jean clothing line from its racks.