Everything you read about Paula Deen these days is about racism. But the lawsuit that got the ball rolling isn’t.
Lisa Jackson, the woman whose lawsuit against Deen revealed the recent spate of racial allegations against her, said she didn’t file because of racism.
In a statement to Today, Jackson said that the lawsuit is actually meant “to address Ms. Deen’s patterns of disrespect and degradation of people that she deems to be inferior.”
Jackson was a manager at Deen’s Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House, and sued the chef as well as her brother Bubba Hiers last year. She claimed that she was sexually harassed at work, and that the environment was one of constant discrimination.
“I may be a white woman, but I could no longer tolerate her abuse of power as a business owner, nor her condonation of Mr. Hier’s despicable behavior on a day-to-day basis,” Jackson continued.
“I am what I am, and I am a human being that cares about discrimination in the workplace. In part, in this circumstance, I have to be a voice for those who are too afraid to use theirs.”
Deen and her brother deny any wrongdoing.
Strangely, Deen’s lawyers have argued that Jackson “cannot enforce someone else’s right, and she has no actionable claim for feeling ‘uncomfortable’ around discriminatory conduct directed at others.”
No matter how Jackson’s lawsuit pans out, Deen’s May 17 deposition has cost her business, brand and image dearly, with at least 11 of her most lucrative partnerships dissolving or going on hiatus with the 66-year-old chef.
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