Howard University Cuts Ties With Diddy, Revokes Honorary Degree Over Assault Video

Howard University has decided to sever ties with rapper and alum Sean “Diddy” Combs following the recent release of a surveillance video that showed the rapper assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

In a statement on Friday, the historically Black private university in Washington, D.C., said it will revoke the honorary degree he was awarded in 2014. The board of trustees also called for ties to be severed with the rapper, including by rejecting his 2016 “gift agreement” in which he pledged $1 million, and a 2023 pledge agreement to the Sean Combs Foundation, as well as disbanding the scholarship program in his name.

The decision comes just weeks after CNN released 2016 footage of Diddy assaulting his then-girlfriend, singer-songwriter Cassie Ventura. The video, which was released as Diddy faced other legal woes, showed him throwing, kicking and dragging her in the hallway of a Los Angeles hotel.

“Mr. Combs’ 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 university said in the statement, adding that it opposes all acts of interpersonal violence.

Diddy’s team did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on Howard University’s announcement.

In response to the video release, Diddy posted a one-minute apology video on social media on May 19, saying he was “disgusted” by his actions in the video, both then and now. He added that he took “full responsibility” for his actions and that it happened during “the darkest times” of his life.

Days later, Ventura also released a statement thanking the public for voicing support for her following the release of the hotel video and asking the public to “open your heart to believing victims the first time.”

Diddy has a long history of legal troubles. Over the last six months, the rapper has been accused of violence and assault, which he had vehemently denied. On Nov. 19, Ventura filed a damning sexual assault and abuse lawsuit against Diddy, which was settled a day later. Others have come forward alleging assault, harassment and violence.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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