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Howard withdraws honorary doctorate from Sean “Diddy” Combs after video

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The board of directors of Howard University voted on Friday to revoke an honorary doctorate awarded to American rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs in 2014 after a video emerged showing him kicking, punching and dragging his then-girlfriend Cassie Ventura.

“Mr. Combs' conduct, as captured in a recently released video, is so fundamentally inconsistent with the core values ​​and beliefs of Howard University that he is no longer deemed worthy of receiving the institution's highest honor,” a Howard spokesperson said on behalf of the board. “The university is steadfast in its opposition to all acts of interpersonal violence.”

In addition to revoking the honorary degree, the board ordered Howard University to repay Combs' $1 million donation, terminate a 2016 gift agreement, dissolve a scholarship program in his name and terminate a 2023 pledge agreement with the Sean Combs Foundation. The board said no payments have been made toward the pledge.

Combs, 54, has faced a series of lawsuits in recent months accusing him of raping or sexually assaulting several women over the past few decades. In March, his Los Angeles home was raided by Homeland Security Investigations agents, allegedly in connection with an ongoing sex trafficking investigation in New York. He is also accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a model in 2003.

Attack video 2016

The university's announcement came after a 2016 video was released last month showing Combs hitting and dragging his then-girlfriend.

Hotel surveillance video obtained by CNN reportedly dates from March 5, 2016, and was compiled from multiple camera angles. The incident matched an allegation Ventura made in November in his lawsuit against the hip-hop mogul for sex trafficking, rape and physical abuse. The two reached a settlement in the civil suit a day after the lawsuit was filed.

The video shows Ventura walking to an elevator at the InterContinental Hotel in Los Angeles, which CNN reports has since closed.

Combs catches up to Ventura before the elevator arrives, punches her, pulls her hair and throws her to the ground, the video shows. He then kicks Ventura twice while she is on the ground, takes her bag and drags her back to the hotel room.

He then lets her go and appears to say something to her as he walks back to the hotel room with her bag.

Combs' team did not immediately respond to USA TODAY's request for comment Friday.

Combs is one of the most famous American rappers and also rose to prominence as a record producer and record executive. He started as an intern at Uptown Records and founded Bad Boy Records in 1992. The company sold over 500 million records, produced 38 platinum singles, and won several Grammy Awards, according to Combs Global's official website. Forbes reported in 2022 that the net worth of his business ventures and real estate is estimated to be $1 billion.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline offers survivors and their loved ones free, confidential support 24/7 in English and Spanish at: 800-656-HOPE (4673) and Hotline.RAINN.org and en Español RAINN.org/es.

Contributors: Ahjané Forbes, Taijuan Moorman, Edward Segarra, USA TODAY