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Diageo Ends Diddy Brand Relationship After His Racism Claims

Diageo Ends Diddy Brand Relationship After His Racism Claims

Diageo North America Inc. said it is breaking off its brand relationship with music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs. 

The spirits maker made the announcement in a Tuesday court filing responding to Combs’s lawsuit last month accusing the company of racial bias in failing to adequately promote his Ciroc Vodka and DeLeón Tequila brands. Diageo asked the judge in the case to force Combs’s case into arbitration or dismiss it.

“Diageo is profoundly disappointed that Sean Combs, an entertainer and entrepreneur who has amassed nearly one billion dollars from a fifteen-year relationship with Diageo, has caused this bad faith, sham action to be improperly brought before this Court,” Diageo said in the Manhattan federal court filing.

A spokesman and a lawyer for Combs didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Combs claimed in his suit that Diageo paid lip service to promoting diversity in it’s business relationships while failing to adequately promote his brands. As evidence of bias, he pointed in his suit to the company’s $1 billion acquisition of the Casamigos tequila brand partly founded by actor George Clooney.

A Diageo spokesperson said the company funded the purchase of DeLeón brand for the joint venture and invested more than $100 million to grow the brand.

The case is Combs Wines and Spirits LLC v. Diageo North America Inc., 652517/2023, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).

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