The racial discrimination lawsuit that tarnished the career of Paula Deen has been thrown out of court, because the judge says that the woman who was suing the famous chef had no right to make her claim. Lisa Jackson, a former employee of Deen's restaurant in Savannah, Georgia, had alleged that Deen and her brother discriminated against their black employees, used derogatory language, and created a hostile work environment. However, Judge William Moore ruled that Jackson, who is white, was was not the actual target of the alleged abuse and was not directly affected by it, so she has no standing to sue for damages.
It was the depositions in this case that caused Deen to lose her popular show on the Food Network and most of her sponsorship deals this summer. During questioning, Deen admitted under oath to using racial slurs, making jokes about black people and Jews, and engaging in other questionable behavior, like hiring all-black waitstaff to work at a "plantation" themed wedding. When details of the deposition were leaked to the public back in June, Deen's business partners fled en masse and her awkward apologies did not help her standing with the public.
Jackson also made claims of sexual harassment, mainly toward Deen's brother and partner Earl Hiers, and that part of the case will be allowed to go forward. Today's victory may not win her a lot of fans back, but at least one legal obstacle has been removed from her path.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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