Sean “Diddy” Combs is celebrating a small victory in his fight against multi-billion-dollar spirits conglomerate Diageo.
According to Bloomberg Law, on Thursday, Sept. 7, a judge denied Diageo’s motion to both dismiss the lawsuit and force the case into arbitration.
Previously, the Bad Boy Entertainment creator brought forth the argument that the liquor company has neglected the alcohol brands he’s associated with, failing to invest in diverse-owned brands as they initially promised.
After Diageo filed a motion to dismiss the case, Diddy also alleged that they were retaliating against him for speaking out against their alleged racial discrimination.
“The message is clear – if you dare to shed light on Diageo’s conduct, you will be punished,” read the court filing at the time. “These brazen acts of retaliation serve as a testament to the power dynamics at play within the industry and underline the urgent need for justice and accountability.”
The Initial Outcome
Per Bloomberg Law, Judge Joel M. Cohen of the Supreme Court of New York for the County of New York is presiding over the case. Due to his most recent ruling, Diddy will be able to engage in “broad discovery” to uncover evidence that the company didn’t support spirits brands such as Cîroc and DeLeón.
“This case has always been about getting fair and equal treatment,” said Diddy’s attorney, John Hueston. “Today’s decision is an important step in the right direction. Diageo tried to end this action. Today the judge soundly rejected that effort.”
In a statement shared with AFROTECH, Diageo also responded to the ruling.
“While we are disappointed with today’s procedural decision, it is important to underscore that this is not a ruling on the merits of the claims, which we maintain are false and baseless,” Diageo said on Sept. 7. “We are currently considering all legal options.”
Judge Cohen also found that Diddy’s claims concerning issues needing to be addressed by way of injunctive relief were valid.
Additionally, he denied Diageo’s claim that the lawsuit was “an action for damages dressed up as an action for injunctive relief.”
Diddy, who was present during Thursday’s ruling, says this case is bigger than just him.
“I’m fighting for fair and equal treatment for everyone,” said the REVOLT Chairman in a statement shared with AFROTECH. “This isn’t just about me. I look forward to continuing this fight in court. We all deserve the same 24 hours. “