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Following violent video, HBCU revokes P-Diddy honorary degree

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Presigious Howard University, a Washington, DC-based historically Black college or university known for its rich history and commitment to academic excellence, has severed ties with one of its former students, Sean “Diddy” Combs. Following the release of a video depicting violence against his former girlfriend, the university rescinded an honorary degree bestowed upon him and disbanded a scholarship program established in his name. On Friday, Howard’ Board of Trustees voted unanimously to revoke the honorary degree awarded to “Diddy” in 2014, declaring him “no longer worthy to hold the institution’s highest honor.” The university also said it will return Combs’ $1 million contribution and terminate a $1 million pledge agreement from the Sean Combs Foundation.

In a statement following the vote, the Board said: “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.” Pressure was mounting for the school to revoke the star’s honorary doctorate degree after CNN published a 2016 surveillance video showing Combs physically assaulting former girlfriend, singer Cassie Ventura in a Los Angelas Hotel.

The university said it will disband its scholarship program in Combs’ name saying, “The University is unwavering in its opposition to all acts of interpersonal violence” as it included a link to the school’s “Interpersonal Violence Prevention” webpage in its announcement.

Howard’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. Addional lawsuits from others 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. No federal criminal charges have been filed against Combs, but allegations of money laundering and illegal drugs are also being federally investigated.

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