Home » Diageo ends ties with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs amid lawsuit alleging discrimination

Diageo ends ties with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs amid lawsuit alleging discrimination

by Omokolade Ajayi
Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs

Diageo North America Inc., a prominent producer, and distributor of alcoholic beverages, has announced its decision to sever ties with renowned entrepreneur and multi-industry creative Sean “Diddy” Combs.

The move comes in response to a lawsuit filed by Combs, the most recent U.S. Black billionaire, accusing the spirits giant of racial discrimination in its treatment of his vodka and tequila brands.

Combs alleged that Diageo’s commitment to promoting diversity within its business relationships was merely lip service, as the company failed to adequately promote his brands.

He highlighted Diageo’s acquisition and extensive marketing of the Casamigos tequila brand, co-founded by actor George Clooney, which amounted to a staggering $1 billion investment. This stark comparison served to bolster Combs’ claims of bias.

According to Bloomberg, Diageo, in a Tuesday court filing, expressed profound disappointment in Combs for bringing forth what they deemed a bad faith lawsuit.

The company pointed out their long-standing and lucrative relationship with Combs, which had spanned fifteen years and earned him nearly one billion dollars. Diageo requested the judge to either enforce arbitration or dismiss the case.

Responding to Diageo’s attempt to terminate their existing deal, Combs’ lawyer, John Hueston, drew a parallel to firing a whistleblower who exposes racism. Hueston labeled Diageo’s actions as a transparent and cynical effort to divert attention from multiple discrimination allegations.

Diageo countered Combs’ accusations by asserting that it was, in fact, the entrepreneur who failed to support his brands. The company claimed that while Diageo invested a substantial $100 million, Combs contributed a mere $1,000 to the joint venture.

According to Diageo, this disparity in financial commitment allegedly created a contentious relationship and severely damaged the DeLeón brand’s prospects for growth.

The group also expressed disappointment that attempts to resolve the dispute amicably had been ignored, accusing Combs of damaging a longstanding and successful partnership.

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