The leaked video of Sean’ Diddy’Combs’ violent assault on Cassie Ventura in 2016 is hard to watch. In the surveillance video that CNN released, the singer can be seen grabbing, shoving, dragging, and kicking his then-partner.

The altercation coincided with allegations in a now-settled federal lawsuit Ventura filed in November. Previously, the rapper, producer, and business mogul had adamantly denied the allegations in the lawsuit. Ventura claimed to have been a victim of rape and of years of repeated physical and other abuse by Diddy.

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Through his attorneys, the rapper also denied the allegations in five other civil lawsuits filed against him after Ventura broke her silence.

Confronted with the undeniable images, Diddy had no choice but to admit wrongdoing

Two days after the video went public, Diddy posted a video on Instagram on Sunday. “It’s so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life. But sometimes you got to do that,” Combs said. “I was f**ked up — I hit rock bottom — but I make no excuses. My behavior on that video is inexcusable.”

He continued, “I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I am disgusted. I was disgusted then when I did it. I’m disgusted now.”

However, at no point did he mention Ventura by name, nor did he address the apology to the actual victim.

Meredith Firetog, an attorney for Ventura, said in a statement on Sunday following the release of Diddy’s apology: “Combs’ most recent statement is more about himself than the many people he has hurt. When Cassie and multiple other women came forward, he denied everything and suggested that his victims were looking for a payday. That he was only compelled to ‘apologize’ once his repeated denials were proven false shows his pathetic desperation, and no one will be swayed by his disingenuous words.”

Cassie Ventura’s case is, unfortunately, the case for millions of women victims of domestic violence

According to a 2022 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, about 25% of people have experienced some form of narcissistic abuse in their relationships. This means that more than 12 million people in the U.S. may have a personality disorder. More than 60 million people may be victims of a narcissistic relationship.

In general, narcissistic abuse refers to emotional or psychological abuse perpetrated by someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) or antisocial personality disorder. Narcissistic abuse usually involves someone who lacks empathy for their partner. While empathy or guilt may prevent you from abusing or taking advantage of your partner, a narcissistic person often does not hold back because of the pain he or she may cause another person.

Abusers with narcissistic personality disorder often project their behaviors onto their victims. But not all batterers are narcissistic. While some abusers may have some insight but still justify their actions, others genuinely believe they have done nothing wrong.

Furthermore, narcissists hardly ever feel truly sorry

As Kaytee Gillis, LCSW-BACS, and author of “Invisible Bruises,” explained, abusers may abuse because of “a need for control.” Gillis explains that “many abusers may be unable to realize or believe they are doing anything wrong or to see their behavior as problematic.”

“Instead, abusers often project their negative traits onto their target: If they are stalking the individual, they will claim that their target is actually stalking them; or if they were unfaithful, they would claim their partner cheated on them,” she continued. “If they have a personality disorder, especially narcissism or antisocial personality traits, their cognitive distortions can often prevent them from seeing the reality of their actions.”

Likewise, while physically violent people may be able to recognize that their actions were wrong, at least in the eyes of the law, psychological batterers may actually believe that their reality is the truth.

“They may really feel victimized, and combined with whatever charming and convincing nature they may possess, that conviction makes them sound more believable,” Gillis adds. “To outsiders, these conflicting stories can make it more difficult to see what is really going on. They can easily believe that both people are lying.”

However, the video posted by CNN leaves no room for doubt about the veracity of Cassie Ventura’s statements. It also leaves no room for hesitancy in believing the victims when they finally decide to speak out.

If you or a loved one are a victim of domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential assistance and support.