Diddy Allegedly Assaulted His Girlfriend in Front of Other Students During His Time at Howard University

A former student at Howard University claimed she saw Diddy striking his then-girlfriend with a belt.

Sean "Diddy" Combs stands in front of the Armour J. Blackburn University Center at Howard University, smiling and pointing upwards
Shareif Ziyadat via Getty Images
Sean "Diddy" Combs stands in front of the Armour J. Blackburn University Center at Howard University, smiling and pointing upwards

In an extensive report from Cheyenne Roundtree and Nancy Dillon for Rolling Stone, several people who were familiar with Sean "Diddy" Combs during his time studying at Howard University have alleged he assaulted his girlfriend at the time and terrorized other students.

Diddy started studying for a business major at Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1987, and he quickly earned a reputation before dropping out in his second year. Former A&R executive for Universal Motown Record Group Shante Paige described Diddy's parties as "iconic," but others painted a far more menacing picture of the Bad Boy Records founder.

A former student at the school said that whenever Diddy showed up to their English class to convince his girlfriend to skip class, "she would tense up" when he appeared. "He just had a weird control thing. I felt like she was fearful," said the student, who requested anonymity. During another incident, she noticed Diddy "belligerent[ly]" screaming outside of the Harriet Tubman Quadrangle dorm for his girlfriend to come join him outside. When this happened, other women knocked on the doors in the halls to let everyone know Diddy was allegedly assaulting his then-girlfriend outside.

"'Puff is out here acting crazy. He’s beating her,'" the classmate recalled the students telling residents of the halls. "He screamed and hollered and acted a stone fool until she came downstairs," said another student who witnessed the incident, in which Diddy allegedly struck the woman with a belt. She described him as "super angry" and "screaming at the top of his lungs."

The victim declined the comment on the attack, but one of the students said he "whupped her butt" in the incident. "She was trying to defend herself a little bit. She was crying. And we were telling him, ‘Get off of her.’ We were screaming for her," they added. "None of this was really a surprise for me," said a Howard alum of the allegations against Diddy that have surfaced in the last year. "You’re already an abuser [in college]. You were already feeling you had to have certain power over people."

Diddy, 54, gifted one million to Howard University last year. "As someone who attended Howard University and values the transformative experience of historically Black colleges, it remains crucial that we strive to protect and uphold their legacy," he said in a speech, during which he also performed for students. He received an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities in 2014 and delivered a commencement speech that same year.

Last year, Cassie accused Diddy of rape and years of abuse in a lawsuit, which was settled the following day. Diddy's lawyer, Ben Brafman, said the settlement wasn't an "admission of wrongdoing." Earlier this month, disturbing surveillance footage showed Diddy dragging and kicking Cassie in a hotel corridor in 2016.

Diddy initially denied the allegations but released a video statement after the surveillance footage surfaced online. "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," he said.

Several witnesses have been informed they could sit before a federal grand jury in New York as part of the investigation into sex trafficking allegations. Since Cassie's lawsuit, seven other individuals have filed lawsuits accusing him of abuse and sexual misconduct.

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