It’s A Wrap: Diageo Responds To Diddy’s Lawsuit By Severing All Ties With The Mogul
Previously it was reported that Diddy filed a lawsuit against Diageo, the company distributing his DeLeón tequila and Ciroc vodka brands, accusing the conglomerate of racism. As a result, Diageo has left the entertainment mogul on his own, cutting ties with the hip-hop entrepreneur.
According to Variety, the spirits company responded to Diddy’s lawsuit, asked the court to dismiss it, and informed them that it would no longer be working with Sean “Diddy” Combs.
“We are saddened that Mr. Combs has chosen to recast a business dispute as anything other than that and chosen to damage a productive and valued partnership. Mr. Combs’ bad-faith actions have clearly breached his contracts and left us no choice but to move to dismiss his baseless complaint and end our business relationship. Mr. Combs has repeatedly undermined our partnerships and threatened to publicly defame Diageo if we did not meet his unreasonable financial demands,” Diageo said in a written statement.
“Diageo believes strongly in the CIRÔC and DeLeón brands and remains committed to their success, which is why we tried for years to salvage the broken relationship with Mr. Combs. We funded the purchase of DeLeón for the joint venture and proceeded to invest more than $100 million to grow the brand. Despite having made nearly a billion dollars over the course of our 15-year relationship, Mr. Combs contributed a total of $1,000 and refused to honor his commitments.”
In the initial lawsuit, filed in New York State court, Diddy accused Diageo of being dishonest about its diversity efforts. Combs stated that the company “kneecapped” the products he backed, typecasting them as “Black brands” that should only be marketed to “urban” (code: Black) consumers.
Combs also alleged the company has been neglectful toward his brand, claiming DeLeón has repeatedly been out of stock at retailers nationwide, including larger markets like California and New York.
An attorney for Diddy, John C. Hueston, released a statement about Diageo’s latest action.
“Diageo attempting to end its deals with Mr. Combs is like firing a whistleblower who calls out racism. It’s a cynical and transparent attempt to distract from multiple allegations of discrimination. Over the years, he has repeatedly raised concerns as senior executives uttered racially insensitive comments and made biased decisions based on that point of view. Diageo even acknowledged the problem by agreeing in his contract to treat DeLeon the same way it treated their other tequila brands. He brought the lawsuit to force them to live up to that contract, and instead, they responded by trying to get rid of him. This lawsuit and Mr. Combs are not going away.”
Diddy is reportedly seeking to be compensated billions in damages “in a proceeding not before this court,” according to the complaint. TMZ originally reported that Diddy had complained that Diageo wasn’t properly marketing and investing in DeLeón for several years. Instead, he alleged, they focused on other tequila brands like Don Julio and George Clooney’s Casamigos.