Ex-celebrity chef and Food Network star Paula Deen is being raked over the coals after a lawsuit, filed by Lisa Jackson, calls Deen racist. And while Paula Deen may have lost millions of dollars from broken endorsements, she might win in court thanks to the recent Supreme Court Prop 8 ruling last month.
Jackson, a white woman, spoke out for the first time since records of Deen’s career crippling deposition on her use of the n-word came to light. Lisa says she wants to set the record straight on the real issues surrounding her claims against Deen.
Lisa Jackson was a manager at one of Deen’s The Lady & Sons restaurants in Georgia and says she was so disturbed by the horrible treatment that others received, including multiple instances of racism, that she was compelled to sue Deen. (Jackson sued Deen following her termination from the restaurant after five years of employment).
The plaintiff spoke to CNN and says she’s taking a stand against what she sees as Paula Deen’s years of cruel treatment toward minority employees. Said Jackson:
“This lawsuit has never been about the N-word,” she explained through her lawyer. “It is to address Ms. Deen’s patterns of disrespect and degradation of people that she deems to be inferior.” Jackson continued, “I may be a white woman, but I could no longer tolerate her abuse of power as a business owner, nor her condonation of Mr. Hier’s despicable behavior on a day-to-day basis. I am what I am, and I am a human being that cares about all races, and that is why I feel it is important to be the voice for those who are too afraid to use theirs.”
Most of Paula Deen’s multi-million dollar endorsement deals essentially went up in flames overnight as she was dropped from her insanely popular Food Network show, lost both her Wal-Mart and Target product deals and her Smithfield Foods relationship.
The recent Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, however, is oddly playing into Lisa Jackson’s lawsuit and Paula Deen’s response. The legal team for Deen recently filed a motion for the court to dismiss Jackson’s lawsuit on the grounds Jackson does not have the proper legal standing to sue Deen. (Read the entire response to Lisa Jackson’s racism claims against Paula Deen).
ThinkProgress reported that the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse California’s controversial Proposition 8 — a ballot initiative that banned gay marriage in the state — now gives Paula Deen a new defense strategy. The Supreme Court effectively overturned Prop 8 with their majority decision that only the parties directly related to grievances may file suit.
Since Jackson herself was not a victim of Deen’s alleged racial discrimination, the former Food Network star’s attorneys say the entire lawsuit is bogus.
Editor’s correction: This article originally identified Bubba Hier as Paula Deen’s son. This is incorrect. Mr. Hier is Paula Deen’s brother. We apologize for any confusion. Any misrepresentation was unintentional.