Paula Deen Cleared of Race Discrimination Charges in Ex-Employee's Lawsuit

Celebrity News Aug. 12, 2013 AT 5:00PM
Paula Deen appears on NBC News' "Today" show Credit: Peter Kramer/NBC

Finally, some good news for Paula Deen. The disgraced celebrity chef was cleared of race discrimination claims filed by former restaurant manager Lisa Jackson, a judge ruled in Savannah, Georgia on Monday, Aug. 12. The Associated Press reports U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore threw out Jackson's claims that Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers subjected her to racist attitudes during the five years she worked at their restaurant, Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House.

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Jackson also filed sexual harassment claims against Deen and Hiers; those charges still stand in the ongoing case.

"We are pleased with the Court's ruling today that Lisa Jackson’s claims of race discrimination have been dismissed," a rep for Deen tells Us Weekly. "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."

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Deen's testimony during the case, of course, became her undoing. The Georgia native admitted under oath to using the N-word -- and despite numerous taped apologies and a tearful interview with Matt Lauer on The Today Show, Deen was dropped by the Food Network as well as the majority of her business partners, including JCPenney, Sears, Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Home Depot and Smithfield Foods. Her publisher, Ballantine, also canceled upcoming cookbook plans, and QVC has "decided to take a pause" with the star. She subsequently parted ways with her legal team and with her longtime agent.

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