Report: Paula Deen settles discrimination lawsuit

Aug. 23, 2013 at 6:39 PM
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ATLANTA, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Celebrity chef Paula Deen has reached a settlement with a former employee who sued her in Georgia for racial and sexual harassment, TMZ said Friday.

People.com cited a Savannah court document as saying both sides reached the settlement "without any award of costs or fees to any party."

A judge dismissed the racial component of Lisa Jackson's lawsuit this month, stating Deen's former restaurant manager had no right to claim racial discrimination because she is white.

The remainder of the discrimination lawsuit was dismissed Friday, People.com and TMZ said.

Jackson alleged Deen, 66, created a hostile work environment by using the N-word in her presence and expressing her desire to plan a 19th century plantation-style wedding.

Deen admitted in a deposition for the lawsuit she used the racial slur, but later clarified it had been years ago and in reference to an African-American man who robbed her at gunpoint.

The confession sparked a media firestorm and, although Deen apologized for her behavior and insisted she is not a racist, she was fired by the Food Network and lost numerous product endorsement deals.

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