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Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs steps aside as Revolt chairman amid sexual abuse lawsuits

Combs decided to temporarily step aside from the media network last week, a spokesperson said.
Sean "Diddy" Combs.
Sean "Diddy" Combs in Atlanta in June 2021.Paras Griffin / Getty Images file

Sean "Diddy" Combs has temporarily stepped aside as the chairman of the media network Revolt, a spokesperson for the music mogul said Tuesday.

Combs made the decision last week, the spokesperson said.

While it isn't the first business-related fallout since he was accused of sexual abuse in three lawsuits — London-based spirit maker Diageo cited the allegations in a renewed push to keep him out of tequila ads — it is the first time Combs has actively stepped aside on his own.

It's not clear when Combs, a founder of Revolt, will return.

Combs not involved in 'day-to-day' business, Revolt says

Revolt said on its social media accounts that Combs had no day-to-day role in the business and that the decision "helps to ensure that REVOLT remains steadfastly focused on our mission to create meaningful content for the culture and amplify the voices of all Black people throughout this country and the African diaspora."

“Our focus has always been one that reflects our commitment to the collective journey of REVOLT — one that is not driven by any individual, but by the shared efforts and values of our entire team on behalf of advancing, elevating and championing our culture — and that continues," Revolt said.

On Nov. 20, a co-host of a podcast on Revolt announced she wouldn’t participate in a third season after Combs was accused of sexual abuse in several lawsuits.

“I am a [sexual assault] survivor & I cannot be part of a show that’s supposed to uplift black women while @Diddy leads the company,” Dawn Montgomery, who hosts “Monuments to Me,” a podcast about Black women’s issues and successes, said on X.

She said Tuesday that the announcement that Combs has stepped aside won't change her decision.

"I still would like to hear from Revolt’s leadership as there are men in those positions who could’ve provided a safe space for [sexual assault] survivors like myself," she said in a statement.

Three women accuse Combs of sexual abuse

Combs was hit this month with a federal lawsuit alleging that he raped, sex-trafficked and abused his former girlfriend Cassie.

Cassie, whose real name is Casandra Ventura, and Combs settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount of money a day after it was filed. Ventura said she "decided to resolve this matter on terms that I have some level of control."

Ben Brafman, a lawyer for Combs, said the settlement was “in no way an admission of wrongdoing.”

“Mr. Combs’ decision to settle the lawsuit does not in any way undermine his flat-out denial of the claims,” Brafman said.

Montgomery had told NBC News that she empathized with Cassie’s allegations. “I cannot sign back on and say that I want to be paid to do a podcast where a few of the episodes were probably going to reflect this conversation,” she said. “Diddy and his people could never do anything towards me to make me feel like I needed to continue to be quiet.”

Ventura's lawsuit prompted another accuser, Joie Dickerson-Neal, to file a separate lawsuit alleging that Combs drugged her and sexually assaulted her in 1991 while she was a student at Syracuse University.

The suit was filed ahead of the expiration of the New York Adult Survivors Act, which allows adult sexual assault survivors one year to sue regardless of when the original statute of limitations expired.

The filing said Dickerson-Neal “reluctantly” went to dinner with Combs at a restaurant in New York City and accompanied him as he ran errands. She alleged that Combs “intentionally drugged” her, leaving her unable to stand or walk, and pressured her to take a hit from a blunt. The pair then drove to a music studio, but when she couldn't exit the vehicle, he allegedly took her to a place he was staying to sexually assault her, according to the lawsuit.

Dickerson-Neal alleged Combs recorded the assault without her knowledge and shared the video with other people.

A spokesperson for Combs denied the claim, saying it was "an example of how a well-intentioned law can be turned on its head."

"Ms. Dickerson’s 32-year-old story is made up and not credible," the spokesperson said, calling it "a money grab and nothing more."

The same day as Dickerson-Neal's lawsuit, an unidentified woman sued Combs, alleging that he and R&B singer Aaron Hall sexually assaulted her and a friend at Hall's apartment in 1990 or 1991. In that suit, the accuser, identified only as Jane Doe, said the assault happened after an event at the offices of MCA Records.

Combs' spokesperson denied the allegations. Hall couldn't be reached for comment.

"These are fabricated claims falsely alleging misconduct from over 30 years ago and filed at the last minute. This is nothing but a money grab," the spokesperson said in a statement. "Because of Mr. Combs’ fame and success, he is an easy target for anonymous accusers who lie without conscience or consequence for financial benefit. The New York Legislature surely did not intend or expect the Adult Survivors Act to be exploited by scammers. The public should be skeptical and not rush to accept these bogus allegations."