Paula Deen Discrimination Lawsuit Dropped: "I Look Forward to Getting Back to Doing What I Love"
Paula Deen's legal nightmare is over. Lawyers in Savannah, Ga., signed a deal on Friday, Aug. 23, to drop the lawsuit against the disgraced former Food Network chef, 66, who was accused by ex-employee Lisa Jackson last year of racial discrimination.
According to the Associated Press, both parties agreed to drop the case "without any award of costs or fees to any party." No other details were released.
The agreement is the second piece of good news to come Deen's way this month. Two weeks ago, on Monday, Aug. 12, U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore threw out Jackson's claims that the Southern star and her brother Bubba Hiers had subjected her to racist attitudes during the five years she was employed at Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House.
"While this has been a difficult time for both my family and myself, 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 told Us Weekly via a statement from her spokesperson after the agreement was reached. "During this time my faith has strengthened me and the tremendous outpouring of support as well as prayers from folks of 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," she added. "Moving forward, my team and I working to review the workplace environment issues that were raised in this matter and to retool all of my business operations. I look forward to getting back to doing what I love."
Jackson, for her part, said in a statement to Us that she was confident Deen would keep her word and address the concerns that had been brought up by her lawsuit. She described Deen as a "woman of compassion" and said she wished the entire family "all the best."
"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," she 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 eight years is a woman of compassion and kindness and will never tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind toward anyone," she continued. "I now know that the workplace environment issues that I raised are being reviewed and will in the future no longer be at issue."
"I wish Ms. Deen and her family all the best in all of their future endeavors," she concluded, "and I am very pleased that this matter has been resolved and can now be put behind us."
That may be easier said than done. As a result of the charges brought against Deen -- and her admission in a deposition that she had used the N-word -- the butter-loving chef was fired from her position at the Food Network. She was also dropped by several business partners, including JCPenney, Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Smithfield Foods.