Paula Deen and her lawyers are starting to fight back against a lawsuit filed on Monday by Lisa T. Jackson, a former employee of the celebrity chef’s restaurant which she co-owns with her brother, Earl Hiers.
Jackson, who worked for five years as the general manager of Deen’s Savannah, GA restaurant, Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House, alleges in her lawsuit that she was subjected to sexual harassment on multiple occasions by Hiers, and that Deen made racist comments.
Oliver Maner, the law firm that is representing Deen in the lawsuit, released a statement in response to Jackson’s claims Tuesday evening, saying that the allegations of sexual harassment and racist remarks are “false”. The law firm also attempts to point the blame at Jackson, saying that the former employee threatened to go to the press and “ruin Paula’s reputation” if she wasn’t paid a sum of money.
Here is Oliver Maner’s statement on behalf of Paula Deen:
“Ms. Jackson did work for Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House, and she did some work for Paula Deen Enterprises, LLC. She now claims that she was mistreated during her employment. We investigated those claims and attempted unsuccessfully to address those claims with her,” the statement said.
“She has made baseless, inflammatory allegations, threatening to go to the press and ruin Paula Deen’s reputation and the reputation of her businesses unless we paid her a large sum of money. We refused to bow to that kind of pressure and refused to pay money to address false claims.
“Ms. Jackson’s complaint makes false allegations against Paula Deen and they will be proven false in court. We have filed our defensive pleadings with the court denying Ms. Jackson’s claims and those pleadings are a matter of public record. We will hold Ms. Jackson and her lawyer accountable for these false allegations. We look forward to our day in court and have nothing further to say.”
Jackson is seeking unspecified damages in her lawsuit against Paula Deen.