Cassie settled her lawsuit against ex Sean “Diddy” Combs just one day after news broke that she’d accused her ex-boyfriend of past sexual assault and abuse. The speed of the settlement was likely due to legal restrictions, according to attorney Neama Rahmani.
“This has to be one of the fastest settlements in American history. We’re talking about one day,” Rahmani exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, November 21, after taking a look at the case. “The reason that this lawsuit was settled was probably the reason that it was filed in the first place. Cassie ran out of time.”
The lawyer, who was not part of Cassie’s (real name Casandra Ventura) legal team, explained to Us that some of her allegations were “a little bit older,” meaning the statute of limitations had run out.
“However, in New York there was a law that opened the statute of limitations to file civil lawsuits and sexual assault cases. That window closed this week on November 24,” Rahmani said, noting, “Cassie was up against the clock and the parties really were unable to finalize their negotiations before that window was going to close. So, she was forced to file a lawsuit.”
Once Cassie, 37, did file her lawsuit on Thursday, November 16, Rahmani said he felt that “Diddy saw the writing on the wall, realized that this is going to cost him a lot, not just in terms of legal fees but his reputation as well. So, he quickly settled it.”
The exact reason for the quick negotiations, however, may not be revealed as the proceedings happened “behind closed doors” as do most cases of this kind, according to the lawyer.
“They’re confidential, they’re not public,” Rahmani told Us, pointing out that Cassie was reportedly asking for $30 million in damages and claimed that Diddy’s legal team made her an eight-figure offer, which she didn’t accept.
Rahmani continued: “For someone like Diddy who’s reportedly worth almost $1 billion, writing a check for $10 or even $20 million to save his reputation and avoid litigation with someone that he was in a relationship with for so long was probably the right move.”
Cassie made headlines last week when she filed a lawsuit claiming that during her on-off 10-year relationship with Diddy, 54, he urged her to take drugs. She alleged in court documents first reported by The New York Times that Diddy forced her to have sex with “male sex workers” while “filming the encounters.” Cassie further claimed that Diddy “forced her into her home and raped her” in 2018.
Rahmani told Us on Tuesday that the speed at which Diddy’s case was finalized isn’t necessarily an admission of guilt. “Ultimately there’s going to be confidentiality. There’s going to be non-disparagement provisions, no one’s going to say anything,” he said. “And as embarrassing as a settlement like this is, a public trial and having this drag on for months or years would’ve done far more harm to Diddy’s reputation.”
Diddy’s lawyer Ben Brafman insisted on Saturday, November 18, that the settlement does not indicate that his client took part in any of the alleged acts. “Just so we’re clear, a decision to settle a lawsuit, especially in 2023, is in no way an admission of wrongdoing,” Brafman shared in a statement to Us. “Mr. Combs‘ decision to settle the lawsuit does not in any way undermine his flat-out denial of the claims. He is happy they got to a mutual settlement and wishes Ms. Ventura the best.”
One day prior, Cassie’s attorney Douglas Wigdor released a statement on her behalf, sharing that the singer “decided to resolve this matter amicably on terms that I have some level of control. I want to thank my family, fans and lawyers for their unwavering support.”
Diddy also issued a statement on Friday, November 17, via Wigdor that read: “We have decided to resolve this matter amicably. I wish Cassie and her family all the best. Love.”
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi