On Wednesday (May 31), Diddy reportedly filed a lawsuit against Diageo, claiming the spirits company didn’t make promised investments in his vodka and tequila brands and treated them as inferior “urban” products.
Filed with the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, the suit says Diageo North America starved his brands, Ciroc vodka and DeLeon tequila, of resources while providing attention to other celebrity brands.
The hip-hop mogul said Diageo’s leadership told him his race was one of the reasons it limited distribution to urban neighborhoods. He was also informed, according to the lawsuit, that some of Diageo’s leaders resented him for making too much money.
“Cloaking itself in the language of diversity and equality is good for Diageo’s business, but it is a lie,” the lawsuit reads. “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 owns more than 200 brands and began its relationship with Diddy in 2007 after approaching him about Ciroc.
Diageo has since denied the allegations of racism.