Musician Sean 'Diddy' Combs accused of rape and abuse by former girlfriend singer Cassie

Sean 'Diddy' Combs has been accused of rape by his former partner, ITV News Entertainment Reporter Rishi Davda has the latest

US musician and producer Sean 'Diddy' Combs has been accused of rape and years of physical abuse as part of a lawsuit filed by his former partner, R&B singer Cassie.

Combs, who was sued in a New York federal court on Thursday, has "vehemently" denied the allegations.

Cassie, 37, whose real name is Casandra Ventura, who rose to fame for her song "Me & U", which was released while she was signed to Combs' record label.

She said in a statement: "After years in silence and darkness, I am finally ready to tell my story, and to speak up on behalf of myself and for the benefit of other women who face violence and abuse in their relationships.

"With the expiration of New York's Adult Survivors Act fast approaching, it became clear that this was an opportunity to speak up about the trauma I have experienced and that I will be recovering from for the rest of my life."

Cassie and and Sean 'Diddy' Combs pictured in 2017. Credit: AP

The singer has alleged that Combs brought her into his "ostentatious, fast-paced, and drug-fueled lifestyle" not long after she met him and signed to his label, when she was 19 and he was 37 in 2005.

The lawsuit accuses Combs of subjecting Ventura to savage beatings, plying her with drugs, and forcing her to have sex with other men while he filmed them.

Combs is also alleged to have forced his way into Ventura's home and raped her as their relationship was ending in 2018.

Speaking to ITV News, Criminal defense lawyer Natalie Whittingham-Burrell said she predicts 'a media frenzy' if this case were to go to trial

"The vast majority of civil cases don't go to trial. The majority are dismissed in some fashion or settled out of court. However, if this case were to go to trial I'm going to predict a media frenzy.

"If it were to go to trial, that would mean that Cassie has some extrinsic evidence to the allegations she has made."

A statement released on Combs' behalf, and shared with CNN, said: "For the past six months, Mr Combs, has been subjected to Ms Ventura's persistent demand of $30 million (£24 million), under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail.

"Despite withdrawing her initial threat, Ms Ventura has now resorted to filing a lawsuit riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aiming to tarnish Mr Combs' reputation and seeking a pay day."

Combs, 54, is a multi-Grammy award winning artist, who founded the record label Bad Boy in 1993. He has previously gone by the stage names Puff Daddy and Diddy.

He is known for songs including "I'll Be Missing You" and "It's All About the Benjamins".

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