Judge Dismisses Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Against Paula Deen
Yesterday a federal judge threw out racial discrimination claims by a former employee against Paula Deen. U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore Jr. issued a 20-page opinion that Jackson has no standing to sue her former employers for unfair treatment of black workers, even if she was offended and endured stress, reported The Associated Press.
In her May 17 legal deposition, Deen admitted to making racial slurs, saying “Yes, of course” she uses the “N” word at work. Deen later told Today Show host Matt Lauer that she’s not sure if black people are offended by the “N” word.
Jackson “is an accidental victim of the alleged racial discrimination,” Moore said in his ruling. “There are no allegations that defendant Hiers's racially offensive comments were either directed toward plaintiff or made with the intent to harass her.”
Deen’s brother Bubba Hiers still faces charges that he sexually harassed Jackson when she worked at the siblings’ Savannah, Georgia-based restaurant, Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House, from 2005 to 2010. But the judge is still providing Deen’s lawyers the opportunity to argue for dismissal of other claims in the lawsuit.
"We are pleased with the court's ruling today that Lisa Jackson's claims of race discrimination have been dismissed," Deen’s publicist Elana Weiss said in a statement emailed to The AP. "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."
Still, Jackson’s charges have already severely crippled Deen’s public image and cost her millions in endorsement deals, including her contract with the Food Network in June.