Settlement Reached in Paula Deen Lawsuit
August 23, 2013
A settlement has been reached in Paula Deen's discrimination lawsuit that led to the TV chef being stripped of her Food Network cooking show and lucrative endorsement deals.
No details were immediately available about Friday's settlement, which pertained to the sexual harassment portion of the lawsuit. Earlier this month, a federal judge threw out racial discrimination claims made by a former restaurant manager for Deen, Lisa Jackson.
In the lawsuit filed against Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, Jackson alleged to have been subjected to sexual harassment and racist attitudes during the five years she worked at the pair's restaurant, Uncle Bubba's Oyster House in Savannah, GA.
In a statement Friday to ET, Jackson said, "During a very difficult period in my life the Deen family gave me hope and the opportunity to work to build a brighter future for my family and me. I assumed that all of my complaints about the workplace environment were getting to Paula Deen, but I learned during this matter that this was not the case. The Paula Deen I have known for more than 8 years, is a woman of compassion and kindness and will never tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind toward anyone. I now know that the workplace environment issues that I raised are being reviewed and will in the future no longer be at issue. I wish Ms. Deen and her family all the best in all of their future endeavors and I am very pleased that this matter has been now been resolved and can now be put behind us."
A spokesperson for Deen provided a statement to ET after the settlement was filed. "While this has been a difficult time for both my family and myself, I am pleased that the Judge dismissed the race claims and I am looking forward to getting this behind me, now that the remaining claims have been resolved. During this time my faith has strengthened me and the tremendous outpouring of support as well as prayers from folks from all walks of life has been both humbling and overwhelming. I am confident that those who truly know how I live my life know that I believe in kindness and fairness for everyone. Lisa Jackson worked at Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House for more than 5 years and we appreciate her service. Moving forward my team and I are working to review the workplace environment issues that were raised in this matter and to retool all of my businesses operations. I look forward to getting back to doing what I love."
Deen, 66, revealed in a deposition for the case that she admitted using the N-word in the past and this led to a backlash that prompted Food Network to dump the celebrity chef and major corporations to withdraw endorsement deals.