Sean "Diddy" Combs, the Black rapper, producer and entrepreneur, sued Diageo, saying the company didn't make promised investments in his tequila and vodka brands and treated them as inferior "urban" products. Combs said he will seek "billions" of dollars in damages in othe lawsuits against Diageo.
Combs said Diageo it limited distribution of his brands to urban neighborhoods because of his race and added some Diageo leaders resented him for making two much money, according to the lawsuit.
“Cloaking itself in the language of diversity and equality is good for Diageo’s business, but it is a lie,” the lawsuit said. “While Diageo may conspicuously include images of its Black partners in advertising materials and press releases, its words only provide the illusion of inclusion.”
Diageo didn't immediately confirm the comment it gave the Associated Press a few hours earlier:
“This is a business dispute, and we are saddened that Mr. Combs has chosen to recast this matter as anything other than that. While we respect Mr. Combs as an artist and entrepreneur, his allegations lack merit, and we are confident the facts will show that he has been treated fairly.”
Combs has partnered with Diageo since 2007, when the company approached Combs about Ciroc. The lawsuit says Diageo starved Ciroc Vodka and DeLeon tequila brands of resources as it poured attention on other celebrity brands.