Liquor Giant Diageo Is ‘Reviewing’ Ties to Brett Ratner After Sexual Misconduct Accusations

Diageo entered into a “licensing and marketing services agreement” with Ratner a few years ago

Liquor giant Diageo is “reviewing” its relationship with Brett Ratner following sexual misconduct accusations against the filmmaker and producer.

“A couple of years ago, Diageo entered into licensing and marketing services agreements with Brett Ratner to develop and produce an American Whiskey blend for The Hilhaven Lodge trademark which Mr. Ratner owns,” a spokeserson for Diageo said in a statement to TheWrap.

“Diageo takes matters such as these very seriously and, given the nature of these allegations, we are reviewing this relationship.”

 

Diageo was the world’s largest producer of spirits until China’s Kweichow Moutai took over the top spot earlier this year.

The company’s brands include Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Baileys and Guinness. It also owns 34 percent of Moet Hennessy, which includes brands like Veuve Clicquot and Hennessy.

Hilhaven Lodge Whiskey is named after a famous Beverly Hills estate at where Ratner currently resides.

Last week, the Los Angeles Times published a story in which six women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, accused the producer of harassment or assault.

While Ratner’s attorney has denied all allegations, several entities with whom he was doing business distanced themselves, including Playboy, which said last Wednesday that it is putting “all further development of our projects with RatPac Entertainment on hold until we are able to review the situation further.”

Ratner decided to “personally step away from all Warner Bros.-related activities” following the accusations. The producer had a first-look deal and $450 million co-financing deal with Warner Bros. through his company RatPac, as well as studio space on the lot.