Nick Cannon on Diddy’s Assault Video: “I Can’t Judge That Man… It’s Not My Job To Throw That Person Away”

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MAY 17: Nick Cannon speaks during the 2024 Black Enterprise Disruptor Summit at Southern Exchange Ballrooms on May 17, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carol Lee Rose/Getty Images)

Nick Cannon speaks. 

The 2016 hotel assault footage of Cassie Ventura by then-boyfriend and billionaire mogul Brother Love, formerly Diddy, remains a hot topic in the media. A famous friend of Diddy’s, Nick Cannon, 43, shares his thoughts on the footage as a guest on the popular sports entertainment podcast The Pivot with Ryan Clark, Fred Taylor, and Channing Crowder.

During the hour-plus conversation, Ryan Clark asked Nick Cannon about Diddy’s surveillance video as a known acquaintance of the mogul. A former child star, Cannon has collaborated with R. Kelly and Diddy on multiple occasions and has spoken highly of them as creators in the past.

R. Kelly is serving 20 years in prison for child sexual abuse, while Diddy is facing multiple lawsuits over sexual assault claims and had his properties raided by federal agents in March after settling a lawsuit with Cassie over rape and sex trafficking accusations in November 2023. In May, CNN released hotel footage of Diddy assaulting Cassie in 2016, which was followed by the mogul releasing an apology video a few days later.

Clark asked Cannon: “…You actually spoke about Diddy before some of the stuff happened. When you have those sorts of ‘acquaintanceships’ and you have those sorts of relationships. And all this stuff starts to come out, whether it’s about R. Kelly or Diddy … I mean you know how it is, if something happens to Channing, people like, ‘Aye man, you knew that?’ Something happens to Fred, ‘Aye bruh, did you know that Fred was this? You think about R. Kelly, Diddy, having those relationships. How difficult are those things for you to be able to deal with and go through?”

Referencing his cultural cancelation in 2020, Cannon replied that the situation partly inspired the creation of his new talk show, Counsel Culture. Endured exile before, Nick believes that others should be allowed the opportunity for atonement and reconciliation. Quoting Minister Farrakhan, Cannon answered at 1:10:57:

“One of the reasons why I built my latest platform, and it always stems back to what I went through in 2020 of being canceled and even having those meetings with the ADL and stuff and we’re like, man, when we fall, or the Minister said, I mean, ‘when you see a man fall, don’t laugh, learn.’ And I went to many different individuals and say, don’t cancel me, counsel me. You know what I mean? Don’t throw me away. Who are we as men to be able to judge at some level that we can throw another human being away? It is like everybody has the opportunity for reconciliation and atonement. It’s just if you’re really willing to put the work in, that’s what penitentiaries are for. They’re for the repentance. They come from the same root word. So if I get the opportunity to say, I made a mistake here. I misstepped here, I misspoke here, but now you’re going to throw me away all the way.” 

Cannon also shared that he reserves judgment on Diddy because he is unaware of the mogul’s truma. He says, “I can’t judge that man. I don’t know what demons he’s struggling with. I don’t know what he’s going through, but it’s not my job to throw that person away. So hopefully with building the counsel culture community and creating professionals and doctors and clinicians that can say, we all got problems, we all dealing with mental wellness, we’re all dealing with issues of trauma, and how do we deal with that specifically as Black men? We get torn down enough, then we have to start tearing down each other.”

He adds: “And when we see something like the heinous and monstrous energy of what we saw in that video with Diddy it’s like, man, that brother is troubled. That brother got demons. And not only we see that and that it’s triggering for so many because we all know people like that. We hate to say it. You know what I mean? We all know people that are dealing with them same demons that R Kelly’s dealing with, and they’re close in our family, and we all have our own demons that we try to hide.”

Cannon’s Counsel Culture is a new podcast-turned-talk show in partnership with Amazon Prime. The entertainer’s NCredible Productions and Amazon MGM Studios will work together to produce the half-hour show on which the multi-hyphenate talent will feature different co-hosts for each episode as they focus on male mental health and tackle an array of topics, including emotional vulnerability, financial security, grief, loyalty, marriage and more. Season 1’s special guests include Ne-Yo, retired NBA star Lamar Odom, Ray J, August Alsina, and comedian Howie Mandel. 

“I created ‘Counsel Culture’ to help destigmatize male mental health,” he said in an official press release about the podcast. ”It’s a safe space for men to discuss their emotions and allow themselves to learn, grow, and heal. Instead of canceling each other, we are counseling each other.”

Nick Cannon is a father of 12 children, including four daughters. The twins Moroccan and Monroe are his oldest children with ex-wife Mariah Carey. After news broke of the assault, Nick discussed Diddy’s friendship with his daughter Monroe, he explained:

“As fathers we know and how protective we want to be over our children, specifically our daughters, that now they’re asking. I had to have that conversation with my daughter about dad, that’s your friend, right? And I’m like, okay. So I know him. I’ve befriended him. I don’t know that person and I’ve never seen that person, and I cannot be friends with a person who does that. But all we can do is pray for him. Because if you were the girl on that tape, there would be no more him if it was up to me.” 

Nick continued: “So I am praying that one, you never have to experience anything like that and you’re looking at this scenario and learning that hopefully whatever you see, whether, because again, if we look at it, he had all of the attractiveness that would lure innocent women in. The money, the power, the fame, the fun it looked like.”

He concluded: As someone who’s been around for decades, and even specifically my older children, their mom even longer than me, and having experience… To say, yo, if anything, let’s just learn from these things that hopefully that as your parents, we put you in position, that you do not have to fall victim because of things seem like it’s fun or seem like it’s shine or seem like it’s a good time because ultimately, we see what goes on in darkness always comes to light.”

Diddy has not received any criminal charges regarding any sexual assault accustations. Outside of his settlement with Cassie, all lawsuits against him remin ongoing. On Friday, he returned his key to New York City awarded to him by the mayor, marking the first time in history. 

Celebs had different reactions to Diddy’s hotel footage. Common refused to comment, while Kesha criticized the mogul. Floyd Mayweather, who previously served time in prison for assaulting the mother of his children, refused to judge Diddy’s actions. Biggie Smalls’ mom, Voletta Wallace, even said she felt like slapping Diddy.

The debut season of Nick Cannon’s Counsel Culture is available now on Prime Video.

Check out the full interview below.