In late May, Sean Diddy Combs sued his longtime spirits partner Diageo, citing racism and claiming the brand was falling short in their support of Ciroc and DeLeon. Today (June 27), Diageo announced it is severing its business ties with Diddy.
Diddy filed his lawsuit with the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan. Per the complaint, Diddy’s Ciroc vodka and DeLeon tequila brands were not being pushed with the same gusto as other celebrity brands under the Diageo umbrella, like Casamigos which is backed by actor George Clooney and which Diageo purchased for $1 billion in 2017. According to Diddy, it came down to racism his brands are perceived as Black and “Urban.” Diddy also pointed to issue with the lack of availability of his brands compared to others in the vast Diageo portfolio that includes Johnny Walker, Guinness, Tanqueray and Smirnoff.
Diageo is denying Diddy’s claims.
Per CNN, Diageo is claiming to have invested $100 million to help grow Diddy’s DeLeón tequila while claiming the mogul contributed a mere $1,000.
“This is a business dispute, and we are saddened that Mr. Combs has chosen to recast this matter as anything other than that,” said a Diageo press rep in response to Diddy’s initial filing. “Our steadfast commitment to diversity within our company and the communities we serve is something we take very seriously. We are disappointed our efforts to resolve this business dispute amicably have been ignored, and that Mr. Combs has chosen to damage a productive and valued partnership.”
Well today, the other shoe dropped. Diageo, which has been in business with the Hip-Hop mogul since 2007, announced that it was cuttings its brand partnerships with Diddy. The brand intends to arbitrate alleged breaches of their DeLeón agreement while the Cîroc relationship is terminated.
“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,” said Diageo in a statement. “We have exhausted every reasonable remedy and see no other path forward.”
Combs’ lawyers responded in kind with a statement of their own.”It’s a cynical and transparent attempt to distract from multiple allegations of discrimination,” said Combs’ attorneys. They added, that Combs has “repeatedly raised concerns as senior executives uttered racially insensitive comments and made biased decisions. He brought the lawsuit to force them to live up to that contract, and instead they respond by trying to get rid of him. This lawsuit and Mr. Combs are not going away.”
Diageo also filed a motion to dismiss Diddy’s lawsuit.
Now it’s on Combs to deliver the receipts.
Our staff has picked their favorite stations, take a listen…