Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs has accused executives of spirits company Diageo of racial discrimination in a new lawsuit.
The rapper and producer filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the British liquor giant over their joint venture.
According to the New York Supreme Court filing, Combs’ lawyers claimed that Diageo officials deliberately undermined their partnership by neglecting Combs Wines and Spirits brands, including Ciroc vodka and DeLeon tequila.
“In public, Diageo – a multi-billion dollar, publicly-traded spirits company – proclaims itself a leader in diversity and inclusion,” the filing reads, reports The Guardian. “Rather than equal treatment, Diageo has treated Mr Combs and his brands worse than others because he is Black. Diageo has typecast Ciroc and DeLeon, apparently deciding they are ‘Black brands’ that should be targeted only to ‘urban’ consumers.”
Lawyers for Combs insisted that Diageo’s commitment to diversity “is a lie”, alleging that the company has been “unwilling to treat its Black partners equally – even when explicitly required by contract to do so”.
Combs is seeking a court order “to provide the equal treatment” which his lawyers claimed that Diageo “contractually promised”.
The filing stated that Combs Wines and Spirits plan to sue for “billions of dollars in damages due to Diageo’s neglect and breaches” in a separate lawsuit.
Responding to the legal action, a spokesperson for Diageo said, “This is a business dispute, and we are saddened that Mr Combs has chosen to recast this matter as anything other than that.
“Our steadfast commitment to diversity within our company and the communities we serve is something we take very seriously. We categorically deny the allegations that have been made and will vigorously defend ourselves in the appropriate forum.”