Diageo, Diddy's Lawsuit

Diddy ‘Can’t Stop Won’t Stop’ With Lawsuit Against The Spirits Giant ‘Diageo’ As New Court Documents Emerge

After Diddy (neé Sean Combs) filed a lawsuit against Diageo (the distributor of Cîroc Vodka and DeLeón Tequila) asking for equal distribution as his white counterparts for his liquor brands, more details were revealed after a judge ruled that Diageo couldn’t keep certain portions of the suit confidential.

According to The Associated Press, Sean Combs, aka Diddy, has filed paperwork accusing Diageo of racism after the spirits distribution company allegedly gave preferential treatment to other brands that are not Black-owned. Diddy is requesting that Diageo abide by an agreement made in 2021 requiring them to treat his DeLeón Tequila brand “at least as favorably” as other tequila brands under the spirits umbrella.

The lawsuit states that Diageo’s treatment of Diddy’s DeLeón Tequila worsened after the company acquired two competing tequila brands—Don Julio in 2014 and Casamigos in 2017. Combs accused Diageo of labeling his brand as an inferior “urban” brand, thereby limiting DeLeón’s distribution.

The documents also detailed what Diddy described as Diageo’s repeated disinvestment in DeLeón. For example, in 2022, DeLeón was distributed in only 3% of possible outlets. Meanwhile, Don Julio was in 36% of possible outlets. DeLeón has been listed as “out of stock” in several significant markets at least ten times within the past year.

The racism claim also lies within one of the flavors the company produced and promoted. Diageo developed a watermelon flavor, which Diddy opposed based on the historical stereotype aimed at Black people. The document also revealed Diddy claimed the internal Diageo documents proposed downplaying Cîroc’s connection to the hitmaker and rolling back its “image of being an African-American brand.”

Diageo responded by accusing Diddy of resorting to “false and reckless” allegations to gain monetary damages. Diageo also claimed to have increased production of DeLeón, and that sales have doubled since the two penned the agreement in 2021.