Sean 'Diddy' Combs Accuses Booze Company Of Racism


Sean “Diddy” Combs filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing British booze behemoth Diageo of racism and of neglecting and sabotaging his tequila brand DeLeón.

In the complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court, the music mogul alleged that Diageo’s claim of being “a leader in diversity and inclusion” is “a lie” and the company is “unwilling to treat its Black partners equally – even when explicitly required by contract to do so.”

Combs and Diageo have been partners in DeLeón since 2014 and in vodka brand Cîroc since 2007. But, according to Diddy’s lawsuit, Diageo executives have “put their feet on the neck of Mr Combs’ brands.”

The hip hop icon’s lawsuit alleged “Diageo has treated Mr Combs and his brands worse than others because he is Black” and claimed the two brands have been marketed as “‘Black brands’ that should be targeted only to ‘urban’ consumers.”

Combs claimed Diageo made the premium tequila brand DeLeón “look cheap” with a label that was “prone to bubbling.”

The lawsuit alleged that a Diageo executive told Diddy in 2019 that race is one reason the company limited distribution of  DeLeón and Cîroc.

Diageo’s long list of alcoholic beverage brands include Casamigos, Don Julio, Ketel One, Smirnoff, Bailey’s, Crown Royal, Tanqueray, Guinness and Harp Lager.

Combs is seeking a court order forcing Diageo to provide “equal treatment” to the brands as “contractually promised.” He also threatened a separate lawsuit to seek “billions of dollars in damages due to Diageo’s neglect and breaches.”

In a statement to media outlets, Diageo said it “categorically” denies Combs’ allegations and will “vigorously defend ourselves in the appropriate forum.”

It read: “This is a business dispute, and we are saddened that Mr. Combs has chosen to recast this matter as anything other than that. Our steadfast commitment to diversity within our company and the communities we serve is something we take very seriously.

“For more than 15 years, we’ve had a productive and mutually beneficial relationship with Mr. Combs on various business ventures, making significant investments that have resulted in financial success for all involved.

“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.”

The statement added: “While we respect Mr. Combs as an artist and entrepreneur, his allegations lack merit, and we are confident the facts will show that he has been treated fairly.”

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