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Howard University revokes Sean Combs’ honorary degree and terminates $2m gift
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Howard University revokes Sean Combs’ honorary degree and terminates $2m gift

Howard University’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Friday to revoke the honorary degree given to Sean “Diddy” Combs in 2014, saying he is “no longer worthy to hold the institution’s highest honour.”

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The university will also return Combs’ $1 million contribution and terminate a $1 million pledge agreement from the Sean Combs Foundation, the Board said in a statement Friday.

“Mr Combs’ behaviour 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 honour,” the Board said in the statement.

CNN published a 2016 surveillance video showing Combs physically assaulting his former girlfriend, singer Cassie Ventura, at the now-closed InterContinental Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles.

The Washington, DC-based historically Black college or university said it will disband its scholarship program in Combs’ name.

“The University is unwavering in its opposition to all acts of interpersonal violence,” the board added, linking to the school’s “Interpersonal Violence Prevention” webpage in the statement.

Howard University’s announcement comes amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the once-beloved Bad Boy Records music mogul. Combs has been named in eight lawsuits since November, when Ventura accused him in a now-settled claim of years of abuse during their relationship and of raping her in 2018, CNN previously reported.

Subsequent lawsuits have accused Combs of sexual misconduct and other illegal activity. He has not responded to all the allegations against him but has denied claims from many of the civil suits.

The US Department of Homeland Security’s investigative arm launched a federal probe into Combs and allegations of sex trafficking. Investigators searched his Los Angeles and Miami homes on March 25 as part of the probe. No federal criminal charges have been filed against Combs.

The surveillance video published by CNN could potentially become evidence in the federal investigation.

Meanwhile, investigators are preparing to bring Combs’ accusers before a federal grand jury in New York, sources familiar with the probe told CNN.

Allegations of money laundering and illegal drugs are also being federally investigated, CNN has learned.

Combs recently sold a majority stake in media company and television network Revolt, which he founded in 2013, the company said.

 

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