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Diddy stripped of Honorary Degree over assault allegations

Diddy - Howard University news

Howard University has rescinded the honorary degree awarded to hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, following the release of a CCTV video showing him assaulting his ex-girlfriend in a hotel hallway.

The historically-black university in Washington DC announced the decision after the footage, published by CNN, prompted widespread condemnation.

In a statement released on Friday, the university said that Combs’ actions were fundamentally at odds with its core values.

“The behavior captured in the 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 statement read.

Combs, who had previously apologised for the incident involving singer Cassandra “Cassie” Ventura, expressed deep remorse.

“I was disgusted when I did it. I’m disgusted now,” he said, noting his subsequent efforts to seek professional help and spiritual guidance.

Howard University had conferred the honorary degree on Combs in 2014, celebrating his ‘contributions to music and culture.’ Alongside revoking the degree, the university will also terminate a scholarship in his name and end a 2016 “gift agreement” that included a $1 million donation made through his foundation. The Sean Combs Foundation has not commented on the decision.

The university’s also confirmed that Combs’ name would be removed from all documents listing honorary degree recipients.

The announcement comes in the wake of multiple lawsuits filed against Combs by four women, including Ventura, accusing him of sexual and physical abuse. While Ventura’s lawsuit was settled in November, Combs has denied all allegations of sexual assault, describing them as ‘baseless’ and driven by financial motives.

In December, Combs publicly defended himself against what he termed “sickening allegations” from individuals seeking quick financial gain, asserting his innocence. The controversy deepened in March when federal agents raided two of Combs’ properties as part of a sex trafficking investigation. His lawyer criticised the raid as an “unprecedented ambush” and a “gross overuse of military-level force,” reiterating Combs’ commitment to proving his innocence.

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