Diddy Files Lawsuit Alleges Diageo Neglected Tequila Partnership

Diddy’s joint venture with liquor brand Diageo has come to an end. According to The Associated Press, the spirits giant decided to cut ties with the Hip Hop mogul after he filed a lawsuit against the company back in May.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the lawsuit was filed by Combs Wine and Spirits in Manhattan’s New York State Supreme Court and alleges that Diageo poured all of its resources into backing George Clooney’s Casamigos brand after acquiring the tequila in 2017 for around $1 billion. Diddy accused Diageo of racial discrimination as a result and alleged in his filing that the company marketed his DeLeón brand as an “urban” and “Black” tequila brand.

Diageo denied the allegations and said in a statement to WSJ that this was nothing more than a business dispute.

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

Combs is asking for a court injunction to force Diageo to comply with their 2013 joint-venture agreement, as well as subsequent written agreements in order to resolve what Diddy claims were multiple complaints filed against the company.

The Bad Boy Records founder had previously complained to the company on an array of issues, including a tiny distribution footprint, botched redesign and confusing changes on the pricing of his tequila. He also protested a decision by Diageo not to allocate available agave to DeLeón during a shortage of the tequila ingredient in 2020 and 2021, according to the filing.

“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,” the Diageo spokeswoman added. “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.”

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