Paula Deen Update, A judge has ruled that race discrimination claims made against popular TV chef Paula Deen in a federal lawsuit will been tossed, while the case will continue to be investigated and will focus on a restaurant worker’s allegations of sexual harassment.
Lisa Jackson claims in the lawsuit that while working in a Georgia restaurant owned by Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, the TV chef had used a racial slur in front of her. She alleges that Deen’s brother discriminated against black workers and made sexual comments in front of her and also touched her inappropriately. The Deen family denies any wrongdoing.
A federal judge ruled on Monday, Aug. 12, that Jackson, who is white, is, at best, “an accidental victim of the alleged racial discrimination,” adding: “There are no allegations that defendant Hiers’s racially offensive comments were either directed toward plaintiff or made with the intent to harass her,” the Associated Press reported. The sexual harassment claims remain.
“We are pleased with the Court’s ruling today that Lisa Jackson’s claims of race discrimination have been dismissed,” a spokesperson for Deen said in a statement. “As Ms. Deen has stated before , she is confident that those who truly know how she lives her life know that she believes in equal opportunity, kindness and fairness for everyone.”
It was revealed in June that Deen had admitted in a court deposition to using racial slurs in the past. Several companies, including the Food Network, J.C. Penney and Sears, then parted ways with the 66-year-old self-proclaimed queen of Southern cooking.