Diddy Apologizes After Viral Video Shows Assault on Cassie, What Does This Mean for His Future in Business?

The video of Diddy assaulting his then-girlfriend Cassie Ventura has been released and gone viral, with some users saying the resurfaced clip signals the end of the Harlem mogul’s prestige in hip-hop culture.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JUNE 03: Sean “Diddy” Combs attends Black Tie Affair For Quality Control’s CEO Pierre “Pee” Thomas at Fox Theater on June 02, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

But did his followup apology video, admitting his violent acts, help or hurt him in the business world?

The Video, The Apology

On May 17, CNN aired muted CCTV security footage from 2016 that appears to show Diddy and Cassie engaged in an abusive incident, with the former attacking a submissive Cassie. The footage shows Diddy grabbing her by the neck, knocking her down, kicking, and dragging her back to a room they allegedly were sharing at the now-defunct InterContinental Hotel in Los Angeles.

On May 19, Diddy admitted to the assault, saying he was in a dark place at the time and said he is committed to bettering himself, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The incident depicted in the video was also detailed in Cassie’s now-settled lawsuit, which was settled a day after it was filed under the Adult Survivors Act, a New York State law enacted in May 2022 that allowed victims of sexual offenses with expired statutes of limitations to file civil suits for one year, from Nov. 24, 2022, to Nov. 24, 2023. 

According to the lawsuit description of attack in the hotel, Diddy allegedly paid the hotel $50,000 for the security footage. CNN has yet to explain how it came into procession of the footage, as the hotel told media outlets that today it is under different management and has no access to footage from 2016..

Diddy’s lawyer initially claimed that Cassie had been demanding $30 million over a six-month perido “under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail.”

Cassie instead opted for the lawsuit.

The lawsuit resulted in a ripple effect of businesses backing away from Diddy, especially as similar sexual assault lawsuits followed.

Can Transparency Help Diddy?

But transparency might help Diddy. With his apology video, Diddy seems to be following this philosophy.

“Firstly, personal accountability and transparency are crucial. Diddy’s actions and the subsequent lack of accountability and transparency in addressing the allegations highlight the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions,”Jeetendr Sehdev, author of the book “‘The Kim Kardashian Principle: Why Shameless Sells And How To Do It Right,” wrote last week in Forbes magazine.

Sehdev added, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, brand leaders must demonstrate integrity, honesty, and transparency in handling difficult situations to maintain trust and credibility with their audience and stakeholders.”

Sehdev referenced a study by Sprout Social that revealed that almost 85 percent of individuals are more inclined to support a business during a crisis if it has a track record of transparency, and 89 percent of people believe a company can restore their trust by admitting to a mistake and being open about the actions it will take to rectify the situation.

Sehdev also noted that social media and crisis management are crucial, given today’s cancel culture.

While no new businesses so far have severed their ties to Diddy after the release of the hotel assault video involving his ex-girlfriend Cassie, the initial impact of the allegations since fall 2023 and the emergence of new claims by others have already led brands to distance themselves from Diddy.

On March 26, Diddy sold all his shares of Revolt TV, after previously stepping down as chairman in November.

At least 18 companies had left Diddy’s e-commerce website Empower Global, a marketplace for Black-owned businesses, after Ventura filed her lawsuit against him in November, including brands like House of Takura, Nuudii System, No One Clothiers, and Fulaba, according to The Rolling Stone.

In January 2024, Salxco, the artist management firm that previously represented Diddy, no longer listed him as a client on their website. 

The Capital Preparatory Harlem charter school, which Diddy co-founded, cut ties with him in November citing it was “in the best interest of our organization’s health and future,” NYM reported. 

As Finurah previously reported, in November 2022, Diddy acquired cannabis operations from Cresco Labs and Columbia Care for $185 million in cash and debt financing. His goal then, and presumably still, was to create the largest Black-owned, vertically integrated, multi-state cannabis company in the U.S. The acquisition included four retail stores and a production facility in New York, three retail stores and a production facility in Massachusetts, and two retail stores and a production facility in Illinois.

However, that transaction was canceled in 2023 due to the merger between the sellers falling apart.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office publicly announced that it is aware of the incident but has informed inquirers that because the statute of limitations has elapsed since the apparent criminal offense depicted in the video, there is nothing more it can do besides encourage victims to immediately act upon similar circumstances, KTLA reported.

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