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 Cassie Ventura and three other women, and the aftermath 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.
Annette Njau, the founder of bag, apparel and eyewear company House of Takura told Rolling Stone magazine: “This decision was made on the day that Casandra Ventura filed her lawsuit.
“We take the allegations against Mr Combs very seriously and find such behaviour abhorrent and intolerable. We believe in victims’ rights, and support victims in speaking their truth, even against the most powerful of people.”
Luxury skincare brand Tsuri felt it was important to “unequivocally seek to terminate” their association with Empower Global.
Founder Ashli Goudelock said: “As a women-owned and -led company, we do not and will not linger in a grey area about the mistreatment of women.”
Undergarment firm Nuudii System and No One Clothiers terminated their accounts when they learned of the allegations.
Lenard Grier, co-founder of No One Clothiers said: “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.
“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.”
But one company founder has opted to stay with the platform – which Combs 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 (about R660) 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.
Combs 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.