Supreme Court Denies Diageo’s Motion To Dismiss Diddy’s Racial Discrimination Lawsuit


In a significant legal development, the Supreme Court of New York has delivered a blow to Diageo by denying its motion to dismiss the racial discrimination lawsuit filed by rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs. This ruling opens the door for Combs to pursue extensive discovery efforts to uncover evidence supporting his claim that Diageo unfairly neglected his liquor brands due to his race.


Allegations of Racial Discrimination

"The Supreme Court of New York has rejected Diageo's attempt to dismiss the lawsuit filed by rapper Sean 'Diddy' Combs, who alleges racial discrimination. This decision paves the way for 'broad discovery' as Combs seeks evidence of unequal support for his liquor brands, Ciroc Vodka and DeLéon Tequila. Combs Wine and Spirits accuses Diageo of failing to treat its Black partners fairly, even when contractually obligated to do so. Learn more about this significant legal development."

Diddy, a prominent figure in the music and business industries, has alleged that Diageo, a global beverage alcohol company, discriminated against him based on his race. He claims that the company did not provide the same level of support and promotion to his liquor brands, Ciroc Vodka and DeLéon Tequila, as it did for other brands under its portfolio.

Legal Path Forward

Judge Joel M Cohen’s ruling on September 7th allows Sean Combs to engage in ‘broad discovery.’ This legal process will enable Combs to gather evidence supporting his claims and shed light on whether Diageo upheld its contractual obligations regarding equal treatment.


Diageo’s Response

Diageo, which had a 15-year partnership with Diddy before severing ties in June, vehemently denied the allegations, characterizing them as false and defamatory. The company asserted that Combs’ motivations were financial, aimed at extracting money from Diageo.

The Importance of the Decision

John Hueston, Combs’ attorney, emphasized that the core of this legal battle is about achieving fairness and equality. The judge’s rejection of Diageo’s attempt to dismiss the case is seen as a crucial step toward achieving that goal.


Diageo’s Statement

Diageo responded to the court’s decision, expressing disappointment with the procedural ruling but highlighting that it does not determine the merits of the claims. The company reiterated its stance that the allegations are baseless and false, adding that it is currently exploring all available legal options.

Positive Performance for DeLéon Tequila

The legal dispute comes in the wake of DeLéon Tequila’s strong performance in Diageo’s full-year 2023 financial results. CEO Debra Crew noted the brand’s impressive growth rates, even when compared to well-established brands like Casamigos and Don Julio, indicating its success on a smaller scale.

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