Diageo and American rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs have settled their ongoing legal dispute.
According to a joint statement released by Diageo today (16 January), both parties have “agreed to resolve all disputes between them”.
“Mr. Combs has withdrawn all of his allegations about Diageo and will voluntarily dismiss his lawsuits against Diageo with prejudice”, the statement read.
The row between both parties first arose last June when Combs accused the Johnnie Walker brand owner of racism and intentionally damaging the DeLeón Tequila brand he co-owned with Diageo at the time via his company Combs Wines and Spirits.
Diddy and Diageo bought the DeLeón Tequila brand together in 2013. The rapper also launched the Cîroc vodka brand with the company back in 2007.
In court filings sent to the New York state, the rapper claimed Diageo had broken promises that it had made to promote and invest in the brand, adding he believed his product was not treated the same as other celebrity-backed brands because he is black.
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
In July, Combs’ legal team submitted redacted court filings, which alleged that Diageo made and marketed a watermelon-flavoured version of the DeLeón Tequila, going against Combs’ concerns that he raised over the product being racially insensitive.
The documents also suggested that, in 2020, Diageo had been “allocating its existing supply of agave to competing Tequila brands, forcing DeLeón to scramble to source agave from the spot market at significantly higher costs.”
Another claim was made that Diageo moved thirteen people from the DeLeón bottling plant in Mexico to work on other brands.
The UK-based group was also accused of altering the “distribution approach” for Cîroc and DeLeón without approval from the board.
Diageo continued to strongly deny the claims throughout the process, calling them “bad faith actions”.
The Guinness producer ended its relationship with Combs following his filing of the legal case, which the rapper’s legal team said showed the company had “illegally retaliated” against him by terminating their DeLeón partnership and Cîroc brand deal.
In October, the multinational filed its own rebuttal to the allegations, claiming that Combs had attempted to “weaponise public accusations of racism” for his own personal benefit.
That same month the company filed an appeal after it had been denied an arbitration process for the dispute.
There is “no ongoing business relationship” between the parties, the joint statement issued by Diageo said today, confirming that the group “now solely owns” the DeLeón brand.