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Diddy and Diageo part ways in settlement of racism accusations

Sean “Diddy” Combs filed a lawsuit that alleged racial discrimination by Diageo and said the company neglected Cîroc vodka and DeLeón tequila.
Sean Combs Diddy business partners
Sean "Diddy" Combs with Diageo's chief marketing officer, Debra Kelly Ennis, and Executive Vice President Guy Smith in New York City in 2007.Gary Gershoff / WireImage file
/ Source: CNBC.com

Sean “Diddy” Combs and Diageo said Tuesday they have cut ties and settled the music mogul’s accusations that the spirits giant neglected vodka and tequila brands he promoted or co-owned.

In a joint statement, the London-based company and Combs said they “have now 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 Combs has withdrawn all of his allegations about Diageo and will voluntarily dismiss his lawsuits against Diageo with prejudice.”

Diageo and Combs added that they have “no ongoing business relationship, either with respect to Cîroc vodka or DeLeón tequila, which Diageo now solely owns.”

The sides settled a lawsuit filed last year in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, where Combs alleged racial discrimination by Diageo and said the company neglected Cîroc vodka and DeLeón tequila. Combs’ lawyers accused the company of marketing the spirits as “urban” brands.

The suit sparked a monthslong dispute between Diageo and Combs.

In November, Diageo filed a letter aiming to prevent Combs from appearing in DeLeon tequila ads after the singer Cassie accused him of rape and abuse. Cassie and Combs settled the singer’s lawsuit that month, only a day after she filed it.

Combs Wines and Spirits and Diageo first partnered in 2007 to promote Cîroc. They later teamed up to jointly purchase DeLeón in 2013.

Diageo, one of the largest spirits companies in the world with a nearly $80 billion market value, owns more than 200 brands such as Don Julio and Johnnie Walker.