Paula Deen's Lawyer Fights Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
A lawyer for Paula Deen is shooting down a lawsuit filed by Lisa T. Jackson, who worked at the celebrity chef's restaurant and claims that she was subjected to sexual harassment, assault, battery, and emotional distress.
On Monday, Greg Hodges, a partner at the Oliver Maner law firm in Savannah, Ga., told the Daily Report that Jackson's claims against Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House, which is owned by Deen and Deen's brother, Earl Hiers, are "false."
"From this point forward we're not commenting," he told ABCNews.com this morning. "We don't comment on pending litigation except to the extent that I've already commented. We will file our defense proceedings this week and we will file some motions."
Later this evening, Oliver Maner law firm issued the following statement:
"Ms. Jackson did work for Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House, and she did some work for Paula Deen Enterprises, LLC. She now claims that she was mistreated during her employment. We investigated those claims and attempted unsuccessfully to address those claims with her," the statement said. "She has made baseless, inflammatory allegations, threatening to go to the press and ruin Paula Deen's reputation and the reputation of her businesses unless we paid her a large sum of money. We refused to bow to that kind of pressure and refused to pay money to address false claims. Ms. Jackson's complaint makes false allegations against Paula Deen and they will be proven false in court. We have filed our defensive pleadings with the court denying Ms. Jackson's claims and those pleadings are a matter of public record. We will hold Ms. Jackson and her lawyer accountable for these false allegations. We look forward to our day in court and have nothing further to say."
In her lawsuit, Jackson, a former general manager of Uncle Bubba's, claims Hiers viewed Internet pornography at the restaurant, drank on the job, made sexually charged comments to her and other staff members, and kissed and spat at her.
Jackson, who is white, further alleges that Hiers frequently made racist comments and used the N-word. Hodges told the Daily Report that his team previously "investigated those claims and attempted unsuccessfully to address those claims with her."
Jackson is seeking unspecified damages.