What Exactly Does Diddy Have Left?

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty
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It’s been just six months since “Me & U” singer Cassie Ventura filed an explosive lawsuit against her ex, Sean “Diddy” Combs, accusing the rapper and mogul of rape, beatings, and even executing a car bombing. The suit was settled under undisclosed terms less than 48 hours after Ventura filed, and yet it seemingly opened the floodgates for a succession of similar lawsuits against Combs, who’s since been accused by multiple plaintiffs of sexual misconduct.

Then, last week, surveillance footage emerged of Combs assaulting Ventura in a hotel room hallway. The rapper’s attempt at an Instagram apology video could do little to stem the tide against him. For anyone who was still giving him the benefit of the doubt at this point, that video was the last straw. And now, as a result of the lawsuits, federal raids, and hard video evidence, several prominent figures and institutions are urgently reevaluating their past associations with Combs.

Last year, New York City Mayor Eric Adams gave Combs a key to the city. In an interview with PIX11 on Monday, Adams said that he was “deeply disturbed” by the surveillance video and that he was “taking everything under analysis” to figure out what further action the city might take in terms of potentially rescinding the key.

Mayor Eric Adams May Rescind Diddy’s Key To New York City

That symbolic key is far from the only honor bestowed upon the man who attempted to brand himself as some sort of humanitarian philanthropist in recent years.

In 2014, for example, he received an honorary doctorate from Howard University for his ongoing contributions to entertainment. The accolade must have felt especially sweet to Combs, considering the fact that he himself attended Howard as an undergraduate business major, but ended up leaving after two years without graduating. The Daily Beast reached out to Howard University and asked whether the school was looking into rescinding Combs’ honorary degree. The school’s Office of University Communications declined to comment on the record but sources indicate that it is currently under review.

The Carver Awards were similarly mum when asked directly about any plans to rescind the Child of America Award Combs was awarded at the foundation’s 80th anniversary ceremony in 2018. The Daily Beast also reached out to MTV and BET to ask if any of Combs’ many awards from those two networks would be revoked and we were met with radio silence.

Meanwhile, Revolt, the media company Combs co-founded which for years simulcasted The Breakfast Club, has publicly distanced itself from the mogul. Combs stepped down as the chairman of Revolt last November in the wake of Ventura and two other women accusing him of sexual assault and abuse.

“We are deeply saddened and disturbed by the recent video circulation of our former chairman, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs,” Revolt wrote on Instagram last weekend. “Even with his recent separation from Revolt, it is still our duty to address this matter, and recognize the direct impact it has on our staff, our audience, and the culture we represent.”

Charlamagne Tha God Finally Condemns Diddy After Defending His Legacy

Then there’s the question of Combs’ clothing brands. Sometime between May 3 and this past Saturday, The Daily Beast found, seanjohn.com, the domain for Combs’ long standing eponymous clothing brand, was taken offline. Now, the only place to find items from that brand are on sites like Walmart and Amazon, which still hosts a landing page touting the “Spring Collection.” That’s a long way to fall from 2004: that year, Combs became the first Black man to win a Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) award.

After selling a 90 percent stake in Sean John to Global Brands in 2016, Combs ended up buying his by-then-bankrupt label back in 2021 for $7.5 million, but by 2023, Sean John was already once again in a skid—even before the allegations against Combs came down the pipeline.

“Big box retail stores are always considering what’s relevant and Sean John was no longer remotely popular with consumers. The brand lost its swagger,” Ted Jenkin, president of Exit Stage Left Advisors, told FOX News Business in April. “In light of recent events, it’s unlikely we will see the Sean John brand anywhere but on random websites.”

Diddy’s ‘Apology’ Is Only Happening Because He Got Caught

After severing ties with his Cîroc vodka or DeLeón tequila brands earlier this year as well, Combs’ music may be the last vestige of his once sprawling business empire. The Daily Beast reached out to Spotify to ask if Combs’ music would be removed in light of recent events and it sure doesn’t seem like it—though it’s hard to imagine how many people are casually throwing on his biggest hits this week.

A representative from the company directed us to a policy that explained that the platform would not remove someone’s content on the basis of an artist’s offline behavior alone. Spotify, its rules explain, only removes content if it violates platform rules or local laws. After all, R. Kelly’s music is also still available on Spotify, and Kelly’s behind bars.

But that doesn’t mean Diddy tracks will be playing during your next Peloton ride. After customers complained about the presence of his music, Peloton reportedly posted a statement on its private members Facebook page that promised: “We take this issue very seriously and can confirm Peloton has paused the use of Sean Combs’ music, as well as removed the Bad Boy Entertainment Artist Series, on our platform.”

The long and short of it is that Combs hasn’t just jeopardized—or flat-out jettisoned—many of his revenue streams due to his deeply disturbing conduct, he’s also lost friends and associates.

Misa Hylton, Combs’ ex and the mother of his son, Justin, said on Tuesday that the violent video of Combs and Ventura had left her “heartbroken that Cassie must relive the horror of her abuse.” Hylton added, via her Instagram caption, that her “heart goes out to [Ventura]. I know exactly how she feels, and through my empathy, it has triggered my own trauma.”

Diddy’s Ex Breaks Silence on Cassie Abuse Video

One-time music industry friends like 50 Cent and Aubrey O’Day have expressed their disgust with Diddy’s actions, and even outspoken radio host Charlamagne Tha God, who technically used to work for Diddy, has definitively planted a flag. “Can’t believe anything that comes out of Diddy’s mouth,” Charlamagne said this week.

In the end, all Combs is really left with are friends like rapper Cam’ron, who embarrassed himself in spectacular fashion on CNN this week.

“He didn’t do nothing to me,” Cam’ron said, when asked what he thought of Combs’ apology video, before sipping from a container of Pink Horse Power sex supplement on camera. “You need to ask Cassie if she accepts the apology.”

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