Spirits brand Diageo is sharing its side of the story on the partnership with Sean “Diddy” Combs.
As AfroTech previously told you, Diddy sued the company, alleging he had been racially profiled and that Diageo failed to nurture his tequilla brand DeLeón as well as invest in diverse-owned brands as promised.
According to the lawsuit, Diddy also claimed that Diageo did not prioritize DeLeón in the same way as other tequila brands it distributed, Don Julio and George Clooney’s Casamigos.
“Cloaking itself in the language of diversity and equality is good for Diageo’s business, but it is a lie,” a statement filed by Combs Wines and Spirits LLC read, according to The Seattle Times.
Based on the latest update, Diageo appears to be attempting to counter the lawsuit.
The Seattle Times reports that “Diageo said that Combs has acquired nearly $1 billion dollars throughout their 15-year relationship. The company also argues that Combs did not act as an equal partner by, for example, not providing adequate funding to help DeLeón grow — stating that, outside a $1,000 contribution from Combs, Diageo ‘provided 100% of the funding’ for the joint venture, which amounted to a total investment of more than $100 million.”
“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,” Diageo said in a statement, per The Seattle Times. “We have exhausted every reasonable remedy and see no other path forward.”
Diddy’s party has since responded to Diageo’s reaction to the lawsuit and stated they believe the actions were “like firing a whistleblower who calls out racism.”
“It’s a cynical and transparent attempt to distract from multiple allegations of discrimination. He brought the lawsuit to force them to live up to that contract, and instead they respond by trying to get rid of him. This lawsuit and Mr. Combs are not going away,” Combs’ attorneys explained, per the outlet.