United States

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Loses His Honorary Degree Awarded By Howard University Following Abuse Allegations

Howard University has decided to revoke the honorary degree awarded to Sean “Diddy” Combs, which he received ten years ago. This decision comes in response to abuse allegations made against Combs.

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Sean "Diddy" Combs with his honorary degree awarded by Howard University in 2014. Photo: X
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Amid controversy about Sean ‘Diddy’ Comb, Howard University has announced to revoke an honorary degree awarded to the hip-hop mogul in 2014.This decision comes following his admission of physically abusing a former girlfriend and multiple other abuse allegations. The university’s board of trustees voted unanimously to accept the return of the honorary degree and revoke all associated honors and privileges.

54-year-old Combs, also known as "Puff" and "Diddy," attended Howard University from 1987 to 1989 but did not complete his degree. In 2016, he pledged $1 million to establish the Sean Combs Scholarship Fund, aimed at providing financial aid to students in need.

Howard University, along with revoking the honorary degree, has also announced that it will return Combs’s $1 million contribution and disband the scholarship program established in his name.

Sean Combs pledging one million dollar check for his scholarship program.
Sean Combs pledging one million dollar check for his scholarship program. Photo: X
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Recently, video footage surfaced showing Combs striking, kicking, and dragging his former girlfriend, Casandra Ventura, professionally known as Cassie, in 2016. Howard University released a statement about the revocation, which says, “Mr. Combs’s behavior as captured in a recently released video is so fundamentally incompatible with Howard University’s core values and beliefs that he is deemed no longer worthy to hold the institution’s highest honor.”

In November 2023, Cassie filed a lawsuit accusing Combs of rape and physical abuse, which was settled the following day. In May, surveillance footage from a Los Angeles hotel surfaced, showing Combs attacking Ventura near an elevator. Combs later posted an apology video on Instagram with the caption “I’m truly sorry” and admitted that his actions were inexcusable and that he was taking full responsibility.

“I hit rock bottom — but I make no excuses,” Combs said in the apology video. “My behavior on that video is inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my actions in that video.”

Howard University, a historically Black institution founded in 1867, has produced notable alumni such as Vice President Kamala Harris and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. Last year, it awarded honorary degrees to Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina and Keith Christopher Rowley, the prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

The revocation of Combs's honorary degree comes amid his ongoing legal troubles. In March, federal agents raided his homes in Los Angeles and Miami as part of a human trafficking investigation, although no charges have been filed. Four women, including Ventura, have also accused him of rape and sexual assault, and a man has accused him of unwanted sexual contact. Combs’s lawyers have filed motions to dismiss the sexual assault suits.

As his legal challenges mount, Combs has sold his majority stake in his media company, Revolt, and his half of a liquor brand, DeLeón, for approximately $200 million. A New York charter school network he had been working to expand also cut ties with him.

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