Howard University Revokes Diddy’s Honorary Degree, Will Return $1 Million Donation After Release of Cassie Assault Video

Howard University’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve the move, which was in response to the release of a 2016 video that showed the mogul assaulting Cassie.

Sean "Diddy" Combs smiles and raises both fists in celebration while wearing academic regalia and a medal
Allison Shelley

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10: Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean "Diddy" Combs reacts after delivering the commencement speech at Howard University's 146th commencement exercises on May 10, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images for DKC)

Sean "Diddy" Combs smiles and raises both fists in celebration while wearing academic regalia and a medal

Howard University's Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to revoke Diddy's Doctor of Humanities honorary degree, according to The Hilltop, which is Howard's student newspaper.

The honorary degree was awarded to Diddy in 2014. Additionally, the board agreed to return Diddy's $1 million donation to the school and cancel a pledge from the 54-year-old to donate an additional million.

“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,” a statement from the university read, referencing shocking video that showed the Bad Boys Record founder assaulting Cassie in 2016.

"All honors and privileges associated with the degree," will also be revoked, the board announced. "Accordingly, the Board has directed that his name be removed from all documents listing honorary degree recipients of Howard University."

Sean "Diddy" Combs poses for a photo in front of the Armour J. Blackburn University Center at Howard University, wearing a leather jacket and sunglasses

The statement continued:

The University is unwavering in its opposition to all acts of interpersonal violence

The Board has also directed the University administration to immediately take the following actions: terminate a 2016 gift agreement with Mr. Combs, disband the scholarship program in his name, return his $1 million contribution, and terminate a 2023 pledge agreement with the Sean Combs Foundation.  

No payments toward the $1 million pledge have been due or made by the Sean Combs Foundation as of this date, therefore no funds are due to be returned under the 2023 pledge agreement.” 

BREAKING: Howard retracts Diddy’s honorary degree, ends $2 million in agreements following 2016 assault video.

— The Hilltop (@TheHilltopHU) June 7, 2024
Twitter: @TheHilltopHU

Diddy released an apology video after the disturbing 2016 footage, which shows the mogul kicking and dragging Cassie at a hotel, surfaced.

“I mean, I hit rock bottom but I make no excuses," he said in May. "My behavior on that video is inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I’m disgusted. I was disgusted then when I did it, I'm disgusted now.”

A range of celebrities, from John Legend, 50 Cent, Ray J, and more, have condemned Diddy in the wake of the footage being released.

In November of last year, prior to the release of the footage, Cassie filed a lawsuit accusing Diddy of rape and abuse throughout their relationship. The suit was settled a short while after it was filed. Then in March of 2024, Diddy's Miami and Los Angeles homes were raided. The mogul is also facing a wave of other lawsuits in which he's accused of rape and abuse.

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