According to federal court documents filed in Manhattan, N.Y. on Thursday (Feb. 4), Puffy is suing Sean John and its owner for “false endorsement, misappropriation of likeness and violating his publicity rights,” after it teamed up with UK multi-channel retailer Missguided for a women’s line that used his name, image and likeness for promotion without seeking his permission. Global Brands Group USA is now being held responsible for giving falsified quotes to the media that claimed Diddy was supportive of the line.
The lawsuit reads,
The SJ/Missguided Agreement was entered into without Mr. Combs’s knowledge, approval, or consent. And Mr. Combs has never endorsed the GBG Collection, which is branded ‘sean john x missguided’ and ‘Sean John x Missguided.’ Mr. Combs has neither granted Defendants the right to use his name, image, likeness, or persona in conjunction with the GBG Collection, nor has he agreed to make a public statement or appearance in support of the GBG Collection.
Diddy and his team are now seeking to “to recover actual, special, and statutory damages, profits attributable to the unauthorized use and exploitation of his name, image, likeness, and persona, as well as attorney’s fees and costs.”
[Diddy] does not challenge [Sean John/GBG’s] right to use the Sean John trademark, but rather [Sean John/GBG’s] decision to leverage a fabricated quote they created and then falsely attributed to Mr. Combs, and to use Mr. Combs’s name and other monikers to create the false and misleading impression that Mr. Combs is the decision-maker behind the designs and creation of the GBG Collection.Diddy’s attorney Jonathan D. Davis
[Sean John, GBG and Missguided] are using the Unapproved Material, which contains false or misleading representations of fact, to promote and sell the items in the GBG Collection because they understand that associating it with Mr. Combs will significantly increase sales and profits.Diddy’s attorney Jonathan D. Davis
The Hip-Hop mogul founded the Sean John brand in 1998 and led the label to moderate success. In 2016, he sold a majority stake in the company to Global Brands Group USA. He ran into issues with them last year when he accused Global Brands Group USA of surreptitiously using the “Vote or Die” slogan he made famous through his Citizen Change political service group in 2004.