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    Thursday, January 18, 2024

    Diddy Withdraws Racism Suit Against Drinks Firm Diageo

    Diageo Plc has settled a lawsuit with Sean Combs after the music mogul sued the British drinks company, accusing it of underinvestment in brands he fronted.

    Combs, known as Diddy, had accused the spirits company of racism in neglecting liquor brands Cîroc Vodka and DeLeón Tequila, but has now withdrawn his allegations, Diageo and Combs said Tuesday. Combs since November has been accused of sexual violence in four separate lawsuits.

    Combs and Diageo “have now agreed to resolve all disputes between them,” the two parties said in a statement released Tuesday. Diageo is now the sole owner of Ciroc vodka and DeLeon tequila, two brands Combs had promoted in the past, and has no business relationship with Combs going forward.

    No further details of the settlement were released.

    Combs sued Diageo last May, saying the company didn’t make promised investments in Ciroc and DeLeon and treated them as inferior “urban” products.

    Combs, who signed a deal to promote Ciroc in 2007 and purchased DeLeon with Diageo in 2013, said the neglect worsened after Diageo bought two competing tequila brands: Don Julio in 2014 and Casamigos in 2017. Diageo owns more than 200 brands, including Guinness beer and Tanqueray gin.

    Combs, who is Black, also accused Diageo of racism. In court filings, Combs said Diageo leadership told him race was one of the reasons it limited distribution to “urban” neighborhoods. Combs was also told some Diageo leaders resented him for making too much money.

    Diageo denied those claims. In legal filings, Diageo accused Combs of resorting to “false and reckless” allegations “in an effort to extract additional billions” from the company.

    Combs’ reputation took a serious hit after the lawsuit was filed. In November, he was sued by R&B singer Cassie, who said he subjected her to a yearslong abusive relationship that included beatings and rape. Combs settled the lawsuit with Cassie, whose full name is Casandra Ventura, a few days after it was filed.

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