Diageo has ended its 15-year partnership with Diddy shortly following the mogul’s racial discrimination lawsuit against the company.
As previously reported the Bad Boy boss and his Combs Spirits empire recently filed a lawsuit against Diageo alleging that the brand racially discriminated against his spirits and sabotaged the distribution.
The lawsuit also alleged that “typecasted” Ciroc and DeLeón by labeling them “black brands” that should be targeted to only “urban” consumers while noting that Diddy wants “equal treatment” like Don Julio and Casamigos, two other brands under the Diageo umbrella. With that, he wants billions in damages from the allegedly shady distribution antics.
According to CNN, Diageo is responding to the claims by simply ending its 15-year partnership with Diddy while alleging he’s been the issue in their business dealings.
In court filings Tuesday, Diageo asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit and called Diddy’s racial discrimination claims “false and reckless” and nothing more than “an effort to extract additional billions” from the company.”
The brand also alleges Combs “repeatedly undermined our partnerships and threatened to publicly defame Diageo if we did not meet his unreasonable financial demands” and went on to add that they’ve invested more than $100 million to help grow DeLeón while Combs only allegedly contributed $1,000.
Combs’ attorney John Hueston wasted no time responding with an official statement and made it clear that this issue won’t be going away until it’s resolved.
“Diageo attempting to end its deals with Mr. Combs is like firing a whistleblower who calls out racism,” reads the statement obtained by BOSSIP. “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 respond by trying to get rid of him. This lawsuit and Mr. Combs are not going away.”
What this means for the future of DeLeón and Ciroc remains to be seen. However, we can be sure companies will be lining up to partner with Diddy.