Paula Deen’s proverbial bacon has been saved. For now at least.
The once beloved star of the Food Network and former spokesperson for a myriad of food and cooking related products, has had racial discrimination charges thrown out by a federal judge in Savannah, Georgia.
In the lawsuit, filed last year by Lisa Jackson against Paula and her brother Bubba Hiers, Jackson claimed to have been the victim of sexual harassment and racist attitudes during the period that she worked as a Restaurant Manager at Paula and Hiers’ Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House.
The ruling however, left intact the sexual harassment charges.
A spokesperson for the celebrity chef told ET Canada after the ruling, “We are pleased with the court’s ruling today that Lisa Jackson’s claims of race discrimination have been dismissed,”; the spokesperson continued. “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 in a deposition related to this lawsuit where Paula, 66, first revealed that she had used the N-word in the past, creating a firestorm of controversy and costing the celebrity chef her television show on the Food Network and a series of lucrative endorsement contracts.
You may recall that only a few weeks into the controversy, Paula dumped her entire legal team in favour of Grace Speights from Morgan Lewis’s Labor and Employment Practice. Speights has handled many employment discrimination cases as well as claims of discrimination in public accommodations.
It now appears the move made sense given the court ruling. We will have to wait to see if Paula can continue her luck when the sexual harassment suit is finally settled.
Will Paula get her “just desserts’? Time will tell.