News 28 June 2023

Ciroc owners end partnership with Diddy after he accused them of racism

28 June 2023

Global beverage company Diageo has terminated its partnership with Sean Combs, aka Diddy, following a lawsuit filed by the executive against the company.

He accused the company of racial discrimination, alleging neglect of his tequila brand, DeLeon, due to his race and claiming they limited distribution to “urban” areas.

The company stated in response that Combs’ allegations were false and defamatory, with the intention of extracting money. They cited his failure to meet his financial commitments and fulfil promises to fund DeLeon Tequila as the reason for the deteriorating relationship.

Despite investing over $100 million in DeLeon, Diageo claimed that Combs contributed a mere $1,000 and failed to honour contractual obligations.

In a statement, they said, “Mr. Combs’ bad-faith actions have clearly breached his contracts and left us no choice but to move to dismiss his baseless complaint and end our business relationship.”

Combs, a longtime collaborator with Diageo, first partnered with them in 2007 to famously promote their Circoc vodka brand.

Diddy’s attorney John C Hueston said, “[He’s] repeatedly raised concerns as senior executives uttered racially insensitive comments and made biased decisions based on that point of view.

“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.

“This lawsuit and Mr. Combs are not going away.”

The company emphasised its commitment to the success of the DeLeon and Ciroc brands but stated that severing ties with Combs was necessary, given the irreparable breach of trust.

[Image via Shutterstock]