Howard University Rescinds Diddy’s Honorary Degree, Returns $1M Donation

Sean "Diddy" Combs received an honorary degree from Howard University in 2014. (Credit: YouTube/WHUT)

Howard University has moved to sever all ties with Sean “Diddy” Combs, following the release of a video that showed him physically attacking his ex-girlfriend Cassie Ventura in 2016.

The school’s board of trustees said Friday, June 7, its members voted unanimously earlier in the day to revoke an honorary degree bestowed upon the music mogul in 2014.

“Mr. Combs’ 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,” the board said in a statement.

The decision means Combs’ name will be removed from “all honors and privileges associated with the degree.”

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The HBCU said it will also return a $1 million contribution he made, disband a scholarship program in the embattled mogul’s name, and terminate a 2023 pledge agreement from the Sean Combs Foundation worth $1 million.

“No payments toward the $1 million pledge have been due or made by the Sean Combs Foundation as of this date, therefore no funds are due to be returned,” the board said.

Combs, 54, was a business major at Howard, before dropping out after his second year to pursue a career in the music industry.

In 2014, the Bad Boy Records founder was given a hero’s welcome as he returned to the Washington, D.C. campus to deliver the commencement address.

He received an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities and told graduating students about his journey to becoming a business owner and the impact Howard had on his life.

Friday’s rebuke by the university comes after Rolling Stone published an exposé on May 29, saying Combs’ alleged violence toward women “dates back to his days as a student at Howard University.” The magazine spoke with three sources who said Combs “attacked a girlfriend outside of her dorm, horrifying her classmates and friends.”

Since November 2023, Combs has been named in at least eight civil suits, with seven of them accusing him of sexual assault and or rape.

The other suit accused him of aiding and abetting his son Christian Combs, who is alleged to have sexually assaulted a yacht stewardess on a boat his father chartered for a New Year’s Eve celebration in December 2022. Both Diddy and Christian denied the woman’s allegations.

Combs’ former girlfriend Cassie Ventura filed the first lawsuit in November 2023. The 35-page complaint alleged rape, sexual battery, and human trafficking.

The mogul settled the lawsuit after one day. Although one of his legal reps said the settlement was in “no way an admission of wrongdoing.”

On May 17, CNN aired surveillance video recorded at a hotel in Los Angeles in 2016, that showed Combs chasing Ventura down a hallway, then violently pushing her to the ground, kicking her and dragging her back to his room.

She detailed the attack in her lawsuit and alleged “Mr. Combs paid the InterContinental Century City $50,000 for the hallway security footage from that evening.”

Diddy issued an apology amid public outcry on May 19, saying “he was truly sorry” for attacking Ventura.

Before releasing his video statement, Combs had called the allegations made by his accusers “sickening” and insisted he was innocent.

“Enough is enough. For the last couple of weeks, I have sat silently and watched people try to assassinate my character, destroy my reputation and my legacy,” he said in a statement in December.

Combs is also the subject of a federal investigation into sex trafficking allegations, and had his homes in Los Angeles and Miami raided on March 25.

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