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Howard University Strips Sean “Diddy” Combs of Honorary Degree, Terminates $2m gift and Pledge Agreement

June 8, 2024

 

 

 

Howard University’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Friday to revoke the honorary degree awarded to Sean “Diddy” Combs in 2014, citing recent revelations that render him “no longer worthy to hold the institution’s highest honor.”

The decision follows the release of a 2016 surveillance video by CNN, showing Combs physically assaulting his former girlfriend, singer Cassie Ventura, at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles. The university stated that this behavior is “fundamentally incompatible with Howard University’s core values and beliefs.”

In conjunction with revoking the degree, Howard University announced it will return Combs’ $1 million contribution and terminate a $1 million pledge agreement from the Sean Combs Foundation. Furthermore, the university will disband its scholarship program named in his honor.

“The University is unwavering in its opposition to all acts of interpersonal violence,” the Board emphasized, underscoring its commitment by linking to the school’s “Interpersonal Violence Prevention” webpage in the statement.

This action by Howard University is the latest development in the escalating controversy surrounding the once-celebrated music mogul. Combs has been named in eight lawsuits since November, following Ventura’s accusation in a now-settled claim of years of abuse and rape in 2018. Additional lawsuits have since surfaced, accusing Combs of sexual misconduct and other illegal activities. While he has not responded to all allegations, he has denied claims from many of the civil suits.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s investigative arm has launched a federal probe into Combs, focusing on allegations of sex trafficking. As part of this investigation, authorities searched his homes in Los Angeles and Miami on March 25. No federal criminal charges have been filed against Combs to date.

The surveillance video released by CNN could serve as pivotal evidence in the federal investigation. Sources familiar with the probe informed CNN that investigators are preparing to bring Combs’ accusers before a federal grand jury in New York.

Additionally, allegations of money laundering and illegal drug activities involving Combs are under federal investigation.

In response to the mounting legal challenges, Combs recently sold a majority stake in Revolt, the media company and television network he founded in 2013.

Howard University’s decisive actions reflect a broader societal reckoning with prominent figures accused of serious misconduct, reinforcing the institution’s commitment to maintaining its ethical standards.

 

 

Credit: CNN

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