In June 2023, the world’s largest spirits maker Diageo ended its partnership with Sean “Diddy” Combs after he accused the brand of racism and paying lip service to diversity. According to the musician in a lawsuit in May, Diageo North America failed to promote his Ciroc Vodka and DeLeón Tequila brands adequately.
In a court filing responding to Combs’ lawsuit, Diageo announced that it was cutting ties with Combs and also urged the court to force Combs’ claims into arbitration or dismiss the case. Diageo said Combs has amassed almost one billion dollars from his relationship with them.
“Diageo is profoundly disappointed that Sean Combs, an entertainer, and entrepreneur, who has amassed nearly one billion dollars from a fifteen-year relationship with Diageo, has caused this bad faith, sham action to be improperly brought before this Court,” Diageo said in the Manhattan federal court filing, according to Fortune.
Combs signed a deal to promote Ciroc in 2007 and purchased DeLeon with Diageo in 2013. But in his lawsuit, he claimed that Diageo later failed to adequately promote his brands, especially following the company’s $1 billion acquisition and marketing of the Casamigos tequila brand partly founded by actor George Clooney.
However, Diageo said it was Combs who failed to support his brands, saying he only committed $1,000 into the joint venture while the company invested $100 million. Touching on the future of Combs’s spirits, a Diageo spokesperson told Fortune that the brands will continue to be sold despite the court case.
On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that the rapper and entrepreneur has withdrawn his lawsuit against Diageo as part of a settlement with the spirits giant. Combs and Diageo “have now agreed to resolve all disputes between them,” the duo said in a joint statement.
The latest development means that the London-based spirits giant is now the sole owner of Ciroc and DeLeon and will have no business relationship with Combs going forward. According to the Associated Press, no further details of the settlement were released.