November 16, 2023
A panel of judges have granted a stay of Diddy’s lawsuit against Diageo
The battle between Sean “Diddy” Combs and Diageo will officially continue in the new year.
According to Billboard, the entrepreneur’s lawsuit against Diageo will start again, possibly in the spring of 2024. Diageo is trying to have the case tried in private arbitration, while Diddy prefers it to be heard in a public courtroom. On Tuesday, Nov. 14, a panel of judges granted the spirits conglomerate’s request for a stay of the lawsuit. The attorneys for Diageo have asked the court of appeals to overturn a decision the court made earlier this summer.
In response to Diageo’s request, attorneys for Diddy have called it a “desperate attempt to delay judicial scrutiny for its discriminatory conduct.”
Diddy has accused Diageo of racism when it came to their marketing strategy. He sued them in May and claimed the company didn’t properly support his brand. He also stated that Diageo treated his product line “worse than others because he is Black.”
Diageo cited a provision in its agreement stating that private arbitration is required for disputes like this. The company said that if Diddy’s “inflammatory rhetoric” about racism were removed, the case would become nothing more than a “garden variety” business dispute that must go through arbitration. In September, the judge did not agree with Diageo’s theory.
The company then argued that if it weren’t given the stay, it would face “irreparable harm” as it would be forced to “arbitrate and litigate the same issues at the same time.”
Based on the recent decision, the court stated that the appeal must be “perfected for the April 2024 Term of this Court.”
Diddy’s attorney, John Hurston, told Billboard: “Once the appellate court considers the actual merits, we are confident that they will reach the same conclusion as two separate judges already: that Diageo can’t avoid a public trial.”
On Oct. 27, Diddy filed another suit against Diageo in the New York Supreme Court.
The entertainment mogul claims Diageo has blackballed him from the liquor and spirits industry. “Diageo has instructed distributors and retailers of DeLeón not to talk to Mr. Combs about his own brand. Diageo, with its massive power in the industry, is doing everything it can to send a message, not only to Mr. Combs but to others like him: Speak up and you will be punished.”
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