Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Returns Key to New York City Following Mayor’s Request

Combs returns New York City key after assault footage surfaces, per Mayor’s request

Sean "Diddy" Combs in May 2022 in Las Vegas. (PHOTO VIA PEOPLE, BRYAN STEFFY/WIREIMAGE)
Sean “Diddy” Combs in May 2022 in Las Vegas. (PHOTO VIA PEOPLE, BRYAN STEFFY/WIREIMAGE)

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs no longer holds a key to New York City.

Mayor Eric Adams requested the return following the release of a 2016 surveillance video showing the music mogul assaulting his ex-girlfriend, singer Cassie. 

In a letter shared with CNN, Mayor Adams expressed his dismay over the footage, calling it “deeply disturbing.” The letter detailed that, after careful deliberation, a committee decided to rescind Combs’ key to the city.

“I strongly condemn these actions and stand in solidarity with all survivors of domestic and gender-based violence,” Adams wrote. 

Combs returned his key to the city on June 10, 2024, following the committee’s recommendation. He had originally received the honor from Adams in a ceremony held in Times Square in September 2023.

The key, described as a “beloved symbol of civic recognition and gratitude,” was awarded to Combs for his contributions to music, business, and philanthropy.

Sean "Diddy" Combs in October 2017. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, REBECCA SAPP/WIREIMAGE)
Sean “Diddy” Combs in October 2017. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, REBECCA SAPP/WIREIMAGE)

At the time, Mayor Adams praised Combs, saying, “The bad boy of entertainment is getting the key to the city from the bad boy of politics!” 

In his acceptance speech, Combs had expressed deep gratitude. “Receiving the key to the city of New York, the very city that molded me, is an honor and incredible moment in my life,” he said. He pledged to continue giving back to the city and acknowledged its role in his success.

However, this honor came into question after the troubling video footage resurfaced. Before Mayor Adams’ announcement regarding the key, Combs issued an apology in a now-deleted Instagram video.

“It’s so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life. Sometimes you gotta do that. I was f—ed up,” Combs stated. He admitted his behavior was inexcusable, expressed deep remorse, and shared that he had sought professional help.

“I was disgusted then when I did it, I’m disgusted now. I went and I sought out professional help, going to therapy, going to rehab. I had to ask God for his mercy and grace. I’m so sorry, but I’m committed to being a better man each and every day.” 

Combs’ apology did little to stem the fallout from the incident. Since the footage emerged, additional allegations of assault have come to light.

Sean "Diddy" Combs' allegedly drugged the rising model. (PHOTO: VIA FOX NEWS, SHAREIF ZIYADAT)
Sean “Diddy” Combs’ allegedly drugged the rising model. (PHOTO: VIA FOX NEWS, SHAREIF ZIYADAT)

Court documents obtained by PEOPLE on May 21 revealed that model Crystal McKinney accused Combs of drugging and sexually assaulting her in 2003.

Following McKinney’s claim, another woman, April Lampos, filed a lawsuit alleging four separate incidents of drugging and sexual assault by Combs. 

The repercussions for Combs extended beyond the return of the key. Earlier in June, he sold his majority stake in Revolt, the media company he founded.

Revolt’s CEO, Detavio Samuels, informed The New York Times that Combs agreed to “start the process of separation” from the company in January, following the filing of several lawsuits against him.

Additionally, Howard University, Combs’ alma mater, rescinded his honorary degree. The university’s Board of Trustees made the decision after the footage of Cassie’s assault came to light.

Howard University released a statement on its website stating, “The Board of Trustees’ decision revokes all honors and privileges associated with the degree.”

The statement also disclosed that the $1 million gift Combs pledged to the school had been returned, clarifying that no payments towards the pledge had been made by the Sean Combs Foundation.

As the scandal continues to unfold, it marks a significant turning point in Combs’ public life.

Once celebrated for his achievements in the entertainment industry and his philanthropic efforts, he now faces serious allegations and the consequences of his past actions.

The revocation of his key to New York City, along with other honors, signifies a broader societal shift towards accountability, especially in matters of domestic and gender-based violence.

The situation underscores the importance of addressing and rectifying abusive behaviors, regardless of the individual’s public standing or contributions.

As Combs continues to navigate the fallout from these allegations, his future contributions to the city and his professional endeavors remain uncertain.

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