(London) British drinks giant Diageo announced on Wednesday that it was ending its contract with American rapper and music producer Sean Combs, aka P. Diddy, after the latter filed a lawsuit accusing the group of neglecting its brands of tequila and vodka out of racism.
“We are saddened that Mr. Combs has chosen to portray a business disagreement in another way and damage a productive partnership,” the group said in a statement received by AFP.
“The actions undertaken in bad faith by Mr. Combs clearly breach the terms of his contract and leave us no choice but to seek the dismissal of his baseless complaint and terminate our relationship,” Diageo adds, asserting that Mr. Combs had “unreasonable” financial demands.
Diageo, which says it still believes in the potential of Mr. Combs’ Ciroc vodka and DeLeon tequila, says it “has been trying for years for this reason to salvage the broken relationship with Mr. Combs.”
The group states that it has injected more than $100 million into the DeLeon brand and assures that “despite earning nearly a billion dollars during a 15-year partnership, Mr. Combs has not injected than 1000 dollars”.
Solicited, lawyers for the black American musician did not immediately respond to requests for comment from AFP.
The American rapper filed a lawsuit in early June against the British giant in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, accusing it of having categorized its vodka and tequila as “black marks” and of not having invested as much in their development than for other celebrity brands.