18 brands cut ties with Sean 'Diddy' Combs' latest business following accusations of gang rape and sex trafficking


"We felt a moral imperative to end our relationship," one company said of mogul's Empower Global in light of abuse allegations

Sean 'Diddy' Combs attends a Swarovski show in NYC in 2013.
Sean 'Diddy' Combs attends a Swarovski show in NYC in 2013.SHUTTERSTOCK

Sean 'Diddy' Combs has had 18 brands distance themselves from him in the wake of sexual abuse allegations made against him.

The I'll Be Missing You hitmaker was recently hit by lawsuits from ex-girlfriend Cassandra Ventura and three other women, accusing him of serial physical abuse, sexual slavery and rape. One of the central allegations against Combs by Ventura, who performs under the stage name Cassie, was that he forced her to engage in sex acts with a succession of male prostitutes he hired while he watched and filmed the encounters for his own pleasure.

The aftermath of the lawsuit has not only seen the 54-year-old rap mogul step down as chairman of Revolt, but multiple companies have cut ties with his recently-launched e-commerce platform Empower Global.

"This decision was made on the day that Cassandra Ventura filed her lawsuit (November 16)," confirmed Annette Njau, the founder of bag, apparel and eyewear company House of Takura to Rolling Stone magazine. "We take the allegations against Mr. Combs very seriously and find such behavior abhorrent and intolerable. We believe in victims' rights, and support victims in speaking their truth, even against the most powerful of people," she added.

Luxury skincare brand Tsuri felt it was important to "unequivocally seek to terminate" their association with Empower Global. "As a women-owned and -led company, we do not and will not linger in a gray area about the mistreatment of women," stated founder Ashli Goudelock.

Undergarment firm Nuudii System and No One Clothiers terminated their accounts when they learned of the allegations.

"While this decision was difficult due [to] the reverence we once held for Mr. Combs as a leader in business and entertainment, it was clearly the correct choice," said Lenard Grier, co-founder of No One Clothiers.

"Our brand is founded on the belief that every individual is important and worthy of respect, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, etc. The allegations against Mr. Combs are in direct conflict with these beliefs. In turn, we felt a moral imperative to end our relationship," he concluded.

But one company founder has opted to stay with the platform — which Diddy has invested more than $20 million in — because they believe in the "vision" of former CEO Khadijah Robinson, who left in February, and had spent a lot of time and money "gearing up" for Empower Global's launch.

The anonymous business owner wrote in an email: "[We] were eager to support what SHE created."

Of over 160 brands on the site — who pay a $35 monthly subscription fee and hand over a percentage of sales to Empower Global — that were contacted by the publication, five said they were monitoring the situation before making a decision, while nine had no firm plans to leave.

Diddy has vehemently denied the allegations from all four women, though he reached a private settlement with Cassie a day after she filed her lawsuit, the terms of which are private and he has insisted do not mean an admission of wrongdoing.