18 Companies (and Counting) Break Ties With Diddy Among Allegations

By: Alyssa Miller | Published: Dec 12, 2023

In the face of multiple allegations, Bad Boy Records head and hip-hop executive Sean “Diddy” Combs is losing his empire. Over a dozen companies that were once associated with Combs are distancing themselves from his recently launched e-commerce platform, Empower Global.

Rolling Stone confirmed that 18 brands have severed ties with the online marketplace for Black-owned businesses. What are these allegations against Combs? Let’s get into it.

What Did Sean “Diddy” Combs Do?

R&B singer Cassie Ventura and three other women have accused Sean Combs of years of abuse. In the lawsuit filed against the producer turned entrepreneur, the abuse includes emotional and physical abuse, human trafficking, and more.

A close up of Sean "Diddy" Combs wearing sunglasses

Source: Daniel Incandela/Flickr

“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,” Ventura said a statement to the New York Times.

Who Is R&B Singer Cassie Ventura?

Ventura, an aspirin ginger and sometimes model from New London, Connecticut, started her music career in pop and R&B. Her debut single, “Me & U,” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2006. However, Ventura struggled for years to find her footing as an artist. While she gained a cult-favorite status among the R&B community, no one in the industry seemed to know how to promote her properly.


Source: Cassie via Instagram

Ventura was set to become the next Britney Spears or Janet Jackson, whose career she wanted to emulate with her successes.

How Are Cassie Ventura and Sean “Diddy” Combs Connected?

Combs, sometimes referred to as Puff Daddy or Diddy, is a hitmaker who had launched the careers of Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, and others, connected with Ventura.

Sean "Diddy" Combs, Cassie, and Red Cafe posing against a wall

Source: StreetKingPin/DeviantArt

According to the lawsuit, Ventura signed a 10-album deal with Bad Boy Records in February 2006.

Sean “Diddy” Combs Became Aggressive Toward Cassie Ventura

After her 2013 self-released mix tape, “RockaByeBaby,” Ventura didn’t release music for a while. Unfortunately, Combs had allegedly beaten Ventura after she witnessed her speak to music managers at parties, according to the lawsuit (via the New York Times).

Sean Diddy Combs and Cassie during 2006 MTV European Music Awards Copenhagen - Show at Bella Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Source: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

“She had hoped speaking to this manager would allow her to further grow her career, and that Mr. Combs would be happy for her, but instead he became extremely angry,” the suit says of the 2009 incident. Years of abuse would continue until the two ended their work and personal relationship in 2019.

Why Did Cassie Ventura File the Lawsuit 

After getting married to her husband Alex Fine in late 2019 and having her first child, Ventura said in an interview with L’officiel that she is making decisions based on what’s best for her creativity and as a mother.

Cassie Ventura and Sean "Diddy" Combs attend the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City.

Source: John Shearer/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter

“The most valuable thing I’ve learned in starting a new chapter,” she added, “is that it’s OK to ask for help.”


Why Is Cassie Ventura Filing the Lawsuit Now?

Ventura filed the lawsuit under New York’s Adult Survivors Act. The bill opened up a one-year look-back window that allows adult survivors whose statute of limitations has expired the ability to file a civil case against their accused offender.

A crow of protestors showed solidarity as well as support for Carroll’s assault allegations against Trump.

Source: Phiend/Flickr

Victim services organizations like Safe Horizon advocated for the passing of the bill since it was first drafted in 2019, believing it fills a void in the judicial system’s treatment of survivorship. Ventura’s window to file was set to expire next week.


Other Artist Who Worked With Sean "Diddy" Combs Are Supporting Cassie Ventura

Former Bad Boy artists took to social media to express their support for Ventura. “I am in full support of Cassie. It isn’t easy to take on one of the most powerful people in this industry and be honest about your experience with them,” singer Aubrey O’Day, formerly a member of the Combs-backed group Danity Kane told Entertainment Tonight. Dawn Richard, another former member of Danity Dane, wrote on X, “Prayers up for this queen praying for Cassie and her family, for peace and healing. You are beautiful and brave.”

A Sound Engineer on the Control Panel of a Recording Studio

Source: Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels

The lawsuit has four other women attached to it, including one woman who reports that she was allegedly violently assaulted by multiple men, including Combs, at a New York recording studio when she was 17 years old.


Sean “Diddy” Combs Denies the Allegations

In a statement (via the New York Times), Combs denied the allegations, saying, “Enough is enough. For the last couple of weeks, I have sat silently and watched people try to assassinate my character, [and] destroy my reputation and my legacy. Sickening allegations have been made against me by individuals looking for a quick payday.

Sean "Diddy" Combs launching Empower Global

Source: Diddy via YouTube

“Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged,” Combs said. “I will fight for my name, my family, and for the truth.”


Sean "Diddy" Combs' Empower Global Is Feeling the Impact of the Allegations

Combs is now added to the growing list of music moguls accused of sexual misconduct, which includes frequent collaborator Russell Simmons, the co-founder of Def Jams Recordings. For Combs, his latest business journey is feeling the immediate impact of these allegations.

Sean Diddy Combs preforming

Source: Creative Commons/Store Norske Leksikon

Combs, who put more than $20 million into the venture, launched Empower Global to create “a platform about sharing power and empowering each other. This is something that is for my people. It’s a tipping point for us to wake up, start paying attention, and support each other while taking responsibility and accountability.”


Not Every Brand Is Leaving Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Platform

One company founder is sticking with the platform, believing that the brand invested considerable time and capital into Epower Global’s launch because it believed in the vision of its prior CEO, Khadijah Robinson. Robinson left in February, two years after joining Combs Enterprises in 2021 after Combs acquired her company, the Nile List.

Khadijah Robinson headshot

Source: Khadijah Robinson via LinkedIn

In an email to Rolling Stone, the founder of the company, who asked to remain anonymous, wrote in an email, “[We] were eager to support what SHE created.” The founder also stated that was in “shock” when Robinson left the platform.


What Is Empower Global?

Empower Global brands itself as “an immersive e-commerce marketplace featuring over 70 brands created and sold exclusively by Black entrepreneurs,” (via Empower Global). Similar to Amazon, Empower Global is a subscription-based platform that asks sellers to pay a $35 monthly fee to maintain a presence on the platform. The platform relies on these fees to keep the lights on at their company (via Forbes).

A screenshot of Empower Global

Source: Empower Global

Unfortunately, many companies are making a swift exit from the platform, finding that their brands no longer align with the values upheld by Empower Global’s CEO. Some companies, like luxury fashion label Stephen Goudeau, say they are seeking to have the fees paid refunded to them.

Source: Rolling Stones