Renowned entrepreneur P. Diddy has found himself in the midst of a heated dispute with liquor giant Diageo, the parent company of Ciroc vodka and DeLeón tequila, after the company severed ties with the mogul.
However, Sean Combs, better known as P. Diddy, is not backing down without a fight after filing a lawsuit against the alcohol dealer for alleged racism.
His attorney, John C. Hueston, spoke to TMZ Hip Hop and compared Diageo’s actions to that of “firing a whistleblower who calls out racism.” Hueston explained that Diageo’s attempt to exclude the Bad Boy label founder is a tactic to divert attention from the multiple allegations of discrimination within the company.
Combs Fired First Shot
In May, Combs filed a lawsuit alleging that Diageo had violated their joint partnership agreement regarding by inadequately supporting the brand. However, his criticism of the company went further than contractual matters, as he also made allegations of racism, asserting that Diageo had treated his product line “in a discriminatory manner due to his race.”
Prior to filing the lawsuit, Diddy had reportedly raised concerns regarding racially insensitive comments made by senior executives at Diageo, which he claims had influenced biased decision-making within the company.
Lawyers for the alcohol giant are rebutting the claim and urging a judge to dismiss of alleging racism against the company, saying that accusations are “false and reckless” and motivated by an attempt to “extract additional billions” from the company.
Diageo Fired Next Shot
Diageo said their reasoning for dismantling the deal with Diddy is that they believed his actions have breached their contracts which forced them to take measures that resulted in the termination of the business relationship. The company’s spokesperson also added that further had repeatedly jeopardized their deals and resorted to threatening to defame Diageo publicly unless they met his unreasonable financial demands.
Despite the contention between the brand and the musician, Diageo said they are interested in salvaging the deteriorating relationship with Diddy. Diageo had reportedly included specific provisions in Diddy’s contract to ensure equal treatment of his DeLeón tequila alongside other tequila brands. Diddy’s decision to file the lawsuit seemingly is motivated by his desire to enforce the contractual agreements that were outlined at the inception of the business deal.
So far, both parties are holding firm in their positions. Diageo insists that they have exhausted all reasonable avenues for resolution and see no other solution but to cut ties with Diddy.
As the legal battle intensifies, there has been no court date for legal proceedings to begin and ultimately decide the outcome of what was supposed to be a lucrative 15-year business relationship.