A federal judge in Georgia today threw out the racial discrimination claims made against Paula Deen by Lisa Jackson in a suit that stated she was subjected to sexual harassment and racism while she worked at a Savannah restaurant co-owned by Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers.
In her deposition for the suit, the 66-year-old celebrity chef said under oath in May that she had used the N-word in the distant past. That admission caused the Food Network, Wal-Mart and QVC to all cut ties with Deen, costing her millions.
U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore Jr. ruled in a 20-page opinion that Jackson had no basis to sue Deen and her brother for racial discrimination because she is in fact white herself. The sexual harassment claims are still open.
“There are no allegations that defendant Hiers’s racially offensive comments were either directed toward plaintiff or made with the intent to harass her,” Moore said.
“We are pleased with the court’s ruling today that Lisa Jackson’s claims of race discrimination have been dismissed,” Deen’s rep 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.”