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Howard University rescinds rapper’s honorary degree after violent video surfaces

Historically black university also ends scholarship program

Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs can no longer say he has an honorary doctorate from Howard University.

The historically black university in Washington, D.C. rescinded the degree last week following a vote by its board.

The unanimous decision by its board of trustees followed the release in mid-May of a video that appears to show Combs assaulting his former girlfriend, Cassie Ventura.

Fox 5 DC reported June 7 on a statement from Howard:

The Howard University Board of Trustees voted unanimously today to accept the return by Mr. Sean Combs of the honorary degree conferred upon him in 2014. This acceptance revokes all honors and privileges associated with the degree. Accordingly, the Board has directed that his name be removed from all documents listing honorary degree recipients of Howard University.

“Combs spent two years at Howard before dropping out in 1990,” Fox 5 reported. “He received an honorary doctorate and served as commencement speaker in 2014.”

Ventura sued him for “rape and years of abuse,” according to CNN. The two settled the lawsuit one day later, in November 2023.

Fox 5 reported that the university will also “terminate a 2016 gift agreement, “disband the scholarship program named after him,” “return his $1 million contribution, and terminate a 2023 pledge agreement.”

The Sean Combs Scholarship Program included money and “an internship with one of Combs’ companies and mentoring through Combs Enterprises,” Fox 5 reported in 2016.

“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 under the 2023 pledge agreement,” the university stated last week.

The rapper, formerly known as “Puff Daddy,” faces “five other civil lawsuits accusing him of a range of sexual misconduct and other illegal activity,” CNN reported.

“He has denied the allegations, and the cases remain active.”

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