Saturday , July 13 2024


WASHINGTON: The board of Howard University, a historically-black university in Washington DC, has moved to strip Sean “Diddy” Combs of his honorary degree

The announcement comes after CNN published a CCTV video of the hip-hop producer hitting an ex-girlfriend in a hotel hallway.

In a statement on Friday, the university said his “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 rapper apologized after the video was released last month for the attack on singer Cassandra “Cassie” Ventura.

“I was disgusted when I did it. I’m disgusted now,” Combs said in his statement.

“I went and I sought out professional help. I got into going to therapy, going to rehab. I had to ask God for his mercy and grace. I’m so sorry.”

Howard University conferred the degree on Combs in 2014. It said in its statement that it would also end a scholarship in his name and terminate a 2016 “gift agreement” with the rapper.

That agreement was a $1m (£785,000) donation that he made through his foundation.

The Sean Combs Foundation did not respond to a request for comment.

The university’s statement said Combs’ name would be removed from all documents listing honorary degree recipients.

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

Four women, including his former long-time partner Ventura, have filed lawsuits against the musician, accusing him of sexual and physical abuse.

Ventura’s lawsuit was settled in November, and Combs has denied all sexual assault allegations.

In a statement issued last December, Combs defended himself against what he described as “sickening allegations” made by “individuals looking for a quick payday”.

“Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged,” he said, adding he would fight to clear his name.

In March, federal agents raided two houses owned by the star “as part of an ongoing investigation” into sex trafficking.

His lawyer called the action an “unprecedented ambush” and a “gross overuse of military-level force”, and maintained his client’s innocence.

CCTV video footage confirmed what many people in the music industry knew was brewing: a moment of reckoning for one of the most influential hip-hop artists in history.

The clips of Sean “Diddy” Combs kicking his former girlfriend Cassie Ventura – as she lay motionless on the floor – cemented his downfall, despite his apology after the leak.

“I don’t see a path for him to come back from this,” said Amy DuBois Barnett, the former editor-in-chief of Ebony magazine, who has written about hip-hop culture.

Combs’ reputation in the industry had been “chequered for some time,” added Barnett. “Many people were aware of his pretty unbridled temper.”

Combs formerly known as P Diddy, Puff Daddy or Puffy is one of the best-selling and most acclaimed artists of all time, with three Grammy Awards and millions of record sales to his name. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)

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