Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs wins first round in battle with Diageo
Sean “Diddy” Combs has gained an early win in his lawsuit against Diageo after alleging it was unwilling to treat its Black partners equally.
According to Bloomberg, Judge Joel M. Cohen of the Supreme Court of New York for the County of New York denied Diageo’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit and its motion to force the case into arbitration.
The development follows moves from the musician and entrepreneur’s company Combs Wine and Spirits, which is behind the DeLeón Tequila and Ciroc French vodka brands, filing legal action to New York’s Supreme Court against Diageo.
It accused Diageo of wrongly “cloaking itself in the language of diversity and equality”, and claimed that the company had “proven unwilling to treat its Black partners equally— even when explicitly required by contract to do so”.
Now that Diageo’s attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed has been overruled, Combs will, according to his attorney John Hueston, be able to begin uncovering evidence to support his claim that Diageo failed to support the Ciroc Vodka and DeLéon Tequila brands in the same manner that it support its other brands.
Speaking to the drinks business, Combs said: “I’m fighting for fair and equal treatment for everyone. This isn’t just about me. I look forward to continuing this fight in court. We all deserve the same 24 hours.”
Hueston explained: “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.”
A spokesperson for Diageo responded: “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.”