Liquor giant Diageo has taken legal action to prevent Diddy from participating in their new advertisements. The news follows in light of a recent flood of sexual assault allegations against the hip-hop mogul.
Diageo Wants to Block Diddy
Diageo is seeking to block Diddy’s control over a $15 million marketing budget for DeLéon Tequila, stating that it would be “unfair and damaging” for the brand and Diageo.
In a statement to Rolling Stone,representatives from Diageo claimed it would be “unfair” and devastating for a judge to grant his request for control over an incoming $15 million marketing budget for DeLéon Tequila:
“The disturbing allegations against Mr. Combs set forth in these lawsuits underscore that any DeLeón campaign featuring Mr. Combs would compound and amplify the harm that he has already caused DeLeón,” Diageo lawyers wrote to Justice Joel M. Cohen of New York County Supreme Court in the letter dated Dec. 1. “Requiring Diageo to pay for such a campaign would be devastating to the brand and to Diageo more broadly.”
In addition to Diddy’s ex-girlfriend Cassie’s lawsuit, Diageo’s letter highlighted two other women who came forward with allegations against Diddy on Nov. 23.
One woman claimed the Bad Boy CEO drugged and sexually assaulted her while also showing video footage of the assault to others. The second woman alleged that Diddy and singer Aaron Hall took turns raping her and a friend during the early 1990s.
She further stated that Diddy later tracked her down and choked her until she lost consciousness. These disturbing allegations have added weight to Diageo’s request for Diddy’s exclusion from their advertising campaigns.
Diageo Vs. Diddy
The legal dispute between Diddy and Diageo began in May 2023, when Diddy filed a lawsuit accusing Diageo of neglecting his Cîroc vodka and DeLéon tequila brand partnerships. The music mogul/entrepreneur alleged that the company categorized the spirits as “Black brands” and limited their reach to “urban” markets, violating the equal treatment provision of their partnership.
Updated By: Chris Samuel (12/6/23 at 4:20 pm)
Diddy Escalates Legal Battle With Diageo, Alleging Unlawful Retaliation In Discrimination Lawsuit
Diddy has taken more legal action against Diageo, a British multinational alcoholic beverage company, alleging unlawful retaliation in a racial discrimination lawsuit. This latest development follows after the music mogul made claims, stating the alcoholic beverage company released a watermelon flavor beverage without his consent.
Diddy Takes More Legal Action
Amid the back and forth of a British multinational alcoholic beverage company and music mogul, Diddy has now sued the renowned alcohol brand for unlawful retaliation in the racial discrimination lawsuit.
In June 2023, Diageo announced that it was ending its 15-year partnership with the “Another One of Me” artist. Now, the music mogul alleges that the company has launched a campaign of retaliation against him.
In May 2023, the hip-hop icon filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against Diageo, accusing the company of treating him and his brands, particularly Cîroc Vodka and DeLeón Tequila, unfairly compared to other partners. Diddy claimed that his products were labeled “Black brands” and only marketed to “urban customers” by Diageo.
The lawsuit alleged that Stephen Rust, Diageo’s President of Reserve and New Business, made racially biased comments, stating that if Diddy were “Martha Stewart,” the treatment would have been different. Diageo has denied these claims.
The lawsuit filed on Friday accuses Diageo of instructing distributors and retailers of DeLeón not to engage with Diddy regarding his own brand. Diddy asserts that this is a deliberate attempt by Diageo to punish him and send a message to others who might speak up against the company.
In an affidavit filed alongside the new suit, Robert T. Chin, Head of Spirits at Combs Wines and Spirits, said:
“Diageo representatives began canceling meetings and failing to timely respond to communications written by Combs Wines’ representatives, which was out of the norm. And, for the first time, Diageo took the position that Mr. Combs was not allowed to attend meetings with Diageo about DeLeón.”
According To The Lawsuit
Diageo responded to Diddy’s latest legal action, criticizing his attempts to extract funds and highlighting their significant investment in the marketing and development of DeLeón compared to Diddy’s nominal $1,000 investment. A Diageo spokesperson told The Daily Beast:
“This is yet another attempt by Mr. Combs to extract funds from Diageo after the organization has invested tens of millions of dollars in the marketing and development of DeLeón, in contrast to Mr. Combs’ total investment of $1,000. We are disappointed that Mr. Combs continues to damage the DeLeón brand while attempting to litigate a business dispute resulting from his own inability to effectively collaborate and sufficiently contribute. These allegations are completely without merit, and we will defend against them.”
In September 2023, the company issued a rebuttal to Combs’ claims in court filings, saying they had “disproportionately supported and grown the DeLeón brand despite Combs Parties’ repeated failures to live up to their own commitments.” Diageo said Combs was focused on “self-enrichment” and had “asked to be paid millions of dollars more under threat of publicly accusing Diageo of racism.”
Lawyers for Combs did not respond to a request for comment.
Updated By: Kynedei Iman Hobbs (10/31/23 at 4:28 pm)
Diddy Accuses Diageo Of Releasing Watermelon-Flavored Tequila Despite Warning About Racial Connotations
Sean “Diddy” Combs has made allegations against British alcohol company Diageo, claiming they released a watermelon-flavored tequila without his consent. This accusation comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed by Diddy against the spirits company in May 2023, in which he accused the company of racism and neglect regarding his tequila brand, DeLeon. Newly revealed claims from the unredacted version of the lawsuit shed light on the alleged racial insensitivity and disregard for the hip-hop mogul’s wishes within the business relationship.
Diageo’s Unauthorized Release Of Watermelon-Flavored Tequila
Diddy has publicly alleged that Diageo, a British alcohol company, released a watermelon-flavored tequila against his wishes. This accusation follows a lawsuit filed by the mogul against Diageo in May 2023, where he claimed that the company exhibited racism and neglect while handling his tequila brand, DeLeon.
According to the unredacted version of the lawsuit, internal documents revealed that both Ciroc and DeLeon, brands associated with Diddy, were referred to as “urban brands” within Diageo’s portfolio. Despite Diddy’s efforts to create a widely appealing and billion-dollar brand, an internal Diageo presentation still classified the vodka as an “urban African American brand tied to one personality.”
Combs further alleged that Diageo referred to his brand, DeLeon, as an “urban” brand, which led to releasing a watermelon-flavored version against his wishes.
Diddy Warns About Racial Connotations; Diageo Denies
Diddy also claimed that Stephen Rust, Diageo’s President of Reserve and New Business, stated that race played a role in limiting the distribution of the Combs brand to specific neighborhoods. Moreover, Diddy accused Diageo of wanting to devalue his relationship with Ciroc and roll back its “image of being an African-American brand.”
In the initial redacted version of the lawsuit, Diddy highlighted racially insensitive incidents allegedly ignored or repeated by Diageo. The unredacted version revealed Diddy’s warning to be cautious about associating watermelon with a brand consistently characterized as an “urban African American brand.”
Additionally, Diddy claimed that Diageo disregarded his request to wait to launch any new flavors of DeLeon until the brand had gained more public recognition, despite Diageo agreeing to proceed with caution and obtaining Diddy’s approval.
In response to Diddy’s allegations, a Diageo representative stated that Diddy publicly supported and financially benefited from the success of Ciroc Summer Watermelon. The representative called Diddy’s attempt to recast discussions regarding innovations for DeLeon disingenuous and self-serving.
They emphasized that Diddy was solely responsible for brand marketing under the Ciroc agreement, and his media agency was DeLeon’s marketing agency of record.
Diageo has vehemently denied all allegations and accused Diddy of making false and reckless claims, including defamatory accusations of racism against the company and its senior executives.
In June 2023, both Diddy and Diageo decided to part ways and end their business relationship.
Updated By: Kynedei Iman Hobbs (7/6/23 at 4:18 pm)
Diddy Accuses Diageo Of Retaliation Over Racism Claims
Spirits maker Diageo is allegedly attempting to cut ties with Sean “Diddy” Combs after he filed a lawsuit alleging that Diageo failed in marketing his liquor brands similarly to its other brands because he is Black.
Diddy & His Legal Team Fight Back
According to Diddy’s attorney John C. Hueston, Diageo is retaliating against Diddy for filing a lawsuit for discriminatory practices.
“Diageo attempting to end its deals with Mr. Combs is like firing a whistleblower who calls out racism. It’s a cynical and transparent attempt to distract from multiple allegations of discrimination,” states Hueston. “
The statement continues to state that Diddy has raised concerns about biased decisions made by Diageo over the years and even described “racially insensitive comments” at the liquor giant.
“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.
Despite Diageo’s attempt to terminate the partnership, Diddy, and his legal team are determined to pursue the lawsuit and continue pressing their discrimination claims against the company.
“This lawsuit and Mr. Combs are not going away,” states Hueston.
The partnership between Diddy and Diageo began in 2007 when the beverage company approached him to collaborate on the development of Cîroc vodka. According to a CBS update, a Diageo spokesperson characterized the situation as a mere “business dispute,” expressing disappointment that Diddy chose to frame it differently.
Updated By: SOHH Squad (6/28/23 at 7:50 pm)
Diddy Sues Liquor Powerhouse Diageo, Accusing Them of Racism and Neglect
Diddy has filed a lawsuit against his business partners at Diageo, a British-based alcohol-distributing company. The rap mogul turned spirits brand entrepreneur alleges that Diageo turned their back on him and his tequila brand, DeLeon. He accuses Diageo of racism and neglect, claiming that they favored other brands like Don Julio and Casamigos while failing to properly market and invest in DeLeon.
Sean “Diddy” Combs’ lawsuit, through his alcohol LLC Combs Wine and Spirits, stems from his acquisition of DeLeon tequila in 2013. After successfully boosting sales of Ciroc, Diddy brokered a partnership with Diageo to lead all marketing and innovation efforts to promote DeLeon.
However, he alleges that Diageo refused to properly market and invest in DeLeon while giving preferential attention to white-owned brands including Don Julio and Casamigos. Combs perceives this neglect as racially motivated, with his tequila sales declining and DeLeon frequently experiencing stock shortages. Diddy is seeking compensation for failing to fulfill contractual obligations and potentially billions in damages.
In his lawsuit, Diddy claims that Diageo views his tequila brand as suitable only for “urban consumers,” while focusing more on other popular tequila brands. Don Julio, produced in Mexico, is the largest brand in terms of value in the tequila market, while Casamigos, co-founded by actor George Clooney, is one of the fastest-growing tequila brands. Diddy believes that Diageo’s discriminatory actions have hindered the growth and success of DeLeon.
As part of the lawsuit, Diddy is demanding that Diageo not only compensate for its failure to support his tequila brand as agreed upon in the contract but also potentially pay billions in damages.
Diddy Launches Diddy Direct With DJ Khaled
In an apparent pivot to take control of his alcohol business ventures, Diddy recently teamed up with DJ Khaled to launch Diddy Direct. This platform enables retailers and consumers to easily locate, request, and purchase any items from the Combs Spirits collection, bypassing middlemen like Diageo and marketing directly to customers.