Back in July Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs filed a lawsuit against Diageo Beverages, accusing them of discriminating against his liquor brands Ciroc and DeLeon. The mogul accused them of using discriminatory practices when marketing his liquor brands. This week, a judge denied Diageo’s motion to dismiss the case.
The Spirit Business reports:
The Supreme Court of New York has denied Diageo’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought forward by rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs over alleged racial discrimination.
The ruling, made by judge Joel M Cohen on 7 September, will allow Combs to engage in ‘broad discovery’ aimed at uncovering evidence that the company didn’t support Combs’ liquor brands – Ciroc Vodka and DeLéon Tequila – in the same manner that it supports its other brands, according to John Hueston, Combs’ attorney.
Combs Wine and Spirits has accused Diageo of “cloaking itself in the language of diversity and equality”, and claims that the company had “proven unwilling to treat its Black partners equally – even when explicitly required by contract to do so”.
Hueston said: “This case has always been about getting fair and equal treatment. 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 June, Diageo severed ties with the rapper, with whom it has had a partnership with for 15 years, and filed a response in relation to the lawsuit brought forward by Combs Wines and Spirits the previous month.
The firm said Combs’ accusations were false and defamatory, and were made to extract money from Diageo.
However, according to Hueston, the judge rejected this argument and found that Combs had made appropriate claims concerning issues that needed to be addressed by way of injunctive relief.
Diageo said in a statement: “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. We are currently considering all legal options.”