Paula Deen Stirs Up Controversy With Alleged Racist Remarks

The celebrity chef is sued by former employee for using the N-word.

Posted: 03/08/2012 08:00 AM EST

For the second time this year, Paula Deen has found herself in more hot water than a tank full of lobsters. The celebrity chef, who recently battled a wave of criticism for concealing her Type II diabetes while advocating for the use of excessive butter and sugar in her recipes, is now being sued for allegedly making racist remarks at one of her restaurants.

Lisa Jackson, a former employee of Bubba’s Oyster and Seafood House in Savannah, Georgia, (owned by Deen and her brother, Earl "Bubba" Hiers) claims Deen used the N-word while discussing the desired dress code for servers at her brother’s wedding.

“Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n****** to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around,” Jackson claims Deen told her. "Now, that would be a true Southern wedding wouldn't it? But we can't do that because the media would be on me about that."


Jackson is also filing a sexual harassment suit against Hiers, claiming he downloaded pornography onto his computer in the office that he shared with Jackson. He also allegedly printed out photos of women having sex with each other with a caption reading, “Why Gay Marriage Should Be Legal.”


Jackson left the restaurant after five years because, she claims, management failed to take action, despite her multiple complaints of sexual harassment. She is suing both Deen and Hiers individually, as well as Deen’s various companies.

The Food Network star's lawyer Greg Hodges claims all accusations are patently "false."

“From this point forward we’re not commenting,” he told ABC News. “We don’t comment on pending litigation except to the extent that I’ve already commented. We will file our defense proceedings this week and we will file some motions.”


Time will tell if these recent allegations will affect the Butter Queen's already delicate reputation.


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