Judge Dismisses Deen Discrimination Lawsuit
Good news for celebrity chef Paula Deen.
A federal judge threw out a lawsuit from a former employee that said the queen of southern cuisine discriminated against her employees based on their race.
Lisa Jackson was a manager at one Deen's Savannah, GA restaurants.
A white woman with bi-racial nieces, Jackson sued Deen because she said she was offended by the chef's alleged discrimination against the restaurant's black workers.
Deen refused to settle and reputation experts say that's what caused her empire to crumble.
"You don't put a $20 million business at stake over a $1 million lawsuit even if you settle it," said Howard Bragman. "Her first mistake and her worse mistake was letting this go to deposition."
In the deposition, Jackson's lawyer asked Deen if she'd ever used the N-word.
"Yes of course," she said, "but only in the past."
The backlash began once the statement went public.
First, the Food Network cancelled Deen's show. Then, retailers who sold the chef's cookbooks and signature cookware--Walmart, Target, Home Depot, among others--dropped her from their stores.
Deen is still facing a sexual harassment suit from Lisa Jackson.
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