|Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Against Paula Deen|
|By MICHAEL ROTHMAN (@TheRealRothman)||Aug 23, 2013, 4:00 PM|
A lawsuit against Paula Deen charging the celebrity chef with sexual harassment and racial discrimination was settled today at a U.S. District Court in Georgia.
Deen, 66, settled with Lisa Jackson, the woman who worked at a Savannah restaurant co-owned by Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers. Jackson claimed she was subjected to sexual harassment and racial discrimination. Hiers managed the restaurant.
A document filed by the court said both sides reached a settlement "without any award of costs or fees to any party," according to The Associated Press.
The details of the settlement were not made public.
"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," Deen said in a statement. "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."
A little more than a week ago, a federal judge in Georgia threw out the racial discrimination claims because both Jackson and Deen are white. At the time the judge left the sexual harassment component of the suit unresolved.
In a statement released today, Jackson said that she wishes Deen and her family "all the best in all of their future endeavors" and that she is "very pleased that this matter has now been resolved."
"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," Jackson said. "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."
It's been a tough year for Deen, who as part of the lawsuit swore under oath that she once used the N-word years ago.
Even after multiple apologies, including an appearance on the "Today Show," Deen has watched as the Food Network, QVC, Sears, Penneys, Smithfield Foods and Wal-Mart have all distanced themselves from the celebrity chef, costing her millions in endorsement deals.
Emily Stanitz contributed to this report.