Voices: Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs is a domestic abuser and his apology holds no water

What a difference six months makes. Last December, in a post that – at the time of writing – is still pinned to his X (formerly Twitter) account, Sean “Diddy“ Combs stated: “For the last couple of weeks, I have sat silently and watched people try to assassinate my character, destroy my reputation and my legacy. Sickening allegations have been made against me by individuals looking for a quick payday. Let me absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth.”

Wow. Poor guy, eh? I almost feel sorry for him. No one should have their name and reputation dragged through the mud because the false allegations of opportunistic exes.

But wait... there’s a video of Mr Diddy assaulting his ex-girlfriend, just like she alleged? Of course, there were other allegations which Combs has always denied, and still denies. This video only shows us one specific incident.

But regarding this incident, Coombs is playing the victim, in a tearful apology video he posted to Instagram at the weekend. Watching his apology, which lasts just over a minute, took me back to my own experiences of being in an abusive relationship.

There I was again, witnessing the crying, the repeated seemingly heartfelt apologies, the “I’ll do better, I’ll be better” mantras, the “I’m not making any excuses…but I was going through a really hard time” schtick, so familiar to anyone who’s been in an abusive relationship.

The thing is, where were Combs’s tears in December? Evidently, he remembers the incident – if he didn’t then he wouldn’t be telling us how sorry he is for assaulting Cassie Ventura. How disgusted he was – then and now – with his behaviour. Not disgusted enough to own up at the time, though, eh?

Call me cynical but I can’t take his apologies seriously when they’ve been triggered by video evidence that’s gone viral. When they don’t even refer to Ventura or the effect of his violence on her. I think he is sorry and I’m sure he has shed tears – but I think he’s sorry for himself. I think he’s crying over the damage he’s done to his career and the dent he’ll have put in his fabulous wealth.

I was so ashamed. I’m still ashamed. For all the stuff I’ve read on domestic abuse and all the time that’s elapsed since I left the relationship, I’m still angry with myself for staying around to be treated like I’m worthless. Nothing. An object that takes up unnecessary space. That’s why I wasn’t allowed to sit on the sofa. Or the armchair. Even his guitar had a seat where I had none. And why, eventually, I wasn’t permitted to sit in the lounge at all.

I suppose my insignificance was too irritating to be allowed in the bed. But it’s all okay because he had his demons and he was working on becoming a better man. Not a better man to me, of course. But a better man nonetheless.

I remember once, after he’d called me relentlessly while I was on his sister’s hen do, I said that he was an idiot. One of the other guests looked at me appalled and said: “You can’t say that about him! He’s lovely!”

Yeah, he was a real peach. I can’t blame her though. After all, we so rarely see domestic abuse in a public setting. It’s all saved for behind closed doors and silence becomes part of the relationship’s contract. And besides, who’ll believe you anyway? You’ll be proclaimed “just as bad as each other” or a “toxic couple” or just an outright liar. Don’t try to convince me of anything different because I know better. We all know better, don’t we?

We see it with various public cases of domestic abuse. He’s the real victim and she’s, well, what is she? If she’s not a liar then she’s weak for staying around. She put herself, and kept herself, in that relationship. She’s must have been as bad as him for putting up with it.

I saw all this reflected in Combs’s video. A couple of decades have passed but it only takes a second still to feel the hurt, the bewilderment, the humiliation. Who’s Combs trying to convince? The public? Himself? Certainly not Ventura, who’ll no doubt have seen him dry his eyes and promise better many times before.

But her absence in his speech speaks volumes. She’s still nothing to him. He doesn’t say her name. He doesn’t acknowledge her suffering. He doesn’t even acknowledge her. He doesn’t apologise for his statements that constructed her as a lying gold-digger.

Because, while Curtis Jackson – AKA rapper 50 Cent – may be currently dealing with his own allegations of domestic abuse he’s right about one thing: we can’t unsee what we saw in that video. That’s why Combs is really apologising – because evidence exists.

For most of us, there’s no evidence – it’s all on our word. And we know our word counts for nothing. Just as we count for nothing. And if we do collect evidence? It’s indicative of our nasty, scheming devious ways.

Kesha’s right: f*** Sean Combs. And f*** anyone who needs to watch a woman being abused before they believe her.