Sean Combs’ apology video shows us the difference between remorse and regret

OPINION: In his apology video, Sean Combs claimed to have gone through therapy to be a better person, but he’s a long way from being “better” and making things right. 

Sean "Diddy" Combs (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Sean Combs is a monster.

That is the only logical conclusion for anyone who has read the numerous lawsuits against him and watched the recent video showing him brutally abusing his former girlfriend, singer Cassie, in a hotel hallway as she tried to escape him. 

She was trying to escape him. She was trying to escape him. She was trying to escape him.

I have to stress the fact that she was in the process of trying to get away from him when he caught up to her at a bank of elevators, beat her, dragged her and forced her to return to his hotel room. 

Since the filing of her lawsuit and the subsequent release of its details, many have questioned and continue to question why she didn’t just leave. 

She tried. He stopped her. 

This is important to remember when you consider the video “apology” her abuser, Sean Combs, released last week, claiming the incident occurred during a “dark time” in his life. 

Combs claims to have gone through therapy, ostensibly doing the work to become a better person. 

Sean Combs is a liar, and that video was a glaring example of the same DARVO behavior he has engaged in from the very beginning and continues to engage in as every new lawsuit comes to light. 

Sean Combs is a serial abuser, a manipulator and a gaslighter, and his fake apology shows us that he’s not remorseful; he’s regretful, and there’s a huge difference between the two. 

If Sean Combs were actually remorseful, when Cassie’s lawsuit was initially announced, he would not have made a public statement calling her a liar and saying she was just after his money. 

A person who is actually doing the work to be better would have acknowledged the harm he had done; that’s what people who are remorseful do. He would have attempted to try to make amends for his actions in whatever way Cassie was willing to accept because that’s what remorseful people do. 

Remorse is reflective and takes into account the feelings of the person who was harmed. Remorse requires a level of self-awareness that would allow Sean Combs to see the harm he has done and spur him to not repeat that harm — either against Cassie or anyone else for that matter. 

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With the number of lawsuits accusing Combs of the same type of behavior over and over again, we know that this is a sick pattern of behavior that has gone unchecked for years. 

Each time a lawsuit is filed, he – through his attorneys – tells the same lie over and over again, gaslights his victims and pretends to be a victim himself. He pretends to be the target of some sinister plot to take him down and take all of his money instead of being what he is — a man who is not used to hearing” no” and who has been repeatedly enabled by those around him who want proximity to his shine, access to his riches, and the benefit of being in his circle. 

That makes all of them monsters, too. 

Abuse of the type Cassie endured does not exist in a vacuum. It’s not a one-off thing. It’s something Combs likely has done for years as he has wielded his power in the entertainment industry over those who just simply want their shot at fame and stardom. 

Every story that has come out has included some form of Combs promising to help the victim’s career. His victims are people who have looked up to him, viewed him as aspirational, and recognized his ability to make or break them in the entertainment industry, and he has taken full advantage of that, leveraging it as a means of grooming his victims into letting him have his way with them. 

That’s nasty work — emphasis on nasty. 

His hollow “apology” was full of regret, and that regret is not for his actions; he regrets that his open secret is now on the Summer Jam screen. It’s no longer just being  whispered and joked about on the internet, in gossip columns and among people in the industry who have “known all along” but have been either too cowardly or too intimidated to speak up on it. 

He regrets that this coming out in the way that it has and with the speed that it has could possibly lead to a “Surviving Sean Combs” moment much in the same way R. Kelly got his reckoning. 

Sean Combs deserves to be taken down. He should be taken down. 

Thursday, Cassie posted the following statement on her Instagram account:

Thank you for all of the love and support from my family, friends, strangers and those I have yet to meet,” Ventura wrote in a post shared on Instagram. “The outpouring of love has created a place for my younger self to settle and feel safe now, but this is only the beginning.

Domestic Violence is THE issue. It broke me down to someone I never thought I would become. With a lot of hard work, I am better today, but I will always be recovering from my past.

My only ask is that EVERYONE open your heart to believing victims the first time. It takes a lot of heart to tell the truth out of a situation that you were powerless in,” Ventura wrote. “I offer my hand to those that are still living in fear. Reach out to your people, don’t cut them off. No one should carry this weight alone.

This healing journey is never ending, but this support means everything to me.

Cassie is doing the work. She is working on healing. She understands that it is an ongoing process and not a quick fix. 

Sean Combs should learn something from that. 

It cannot be stated enough that neither Cassie nor any of the other victims should have to repeatedly relive their trauma and see it splashed across headline after headline in order for Sean Combs – who is allegedly “the man” – to own his behavior and make a concerted effort to not be a horrible monster. 

Who am I kidding though?

This is hip-hop where abusers have their transgressions overlooked all the time and get schools and Grammy Awards named after them while their victims continue to suffer for years after the fact and often never get justice. 

This is hip-hop where people see these things happening all the time but don’t speak up until a rap beef is involved and the transgressions become fodder to humiliate the abuser rather than seek justice for the victims. 

This is hip-hop where women are the punchline. 

Sean Combs has quite literally been a bad boy

I hope he gets what’s coming to him.

Monique Judge is a storyteller, content creator and writer living in Los Angeles. She is a word nerd who is a fan of the Oxford comma, spends way too much time on Twitter, and has more graphic t-shirts than you. Follow her on Twitter @thejournalista or check her out at