Georgia Judge Rules That Paula Deen Cannot Be Sued For Racial Discrimination

A federal judge throws out race discrimination claims made against Deen by her former employee. The ruling leaves intact Jackson’s sexual harassment claims.

1. U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore Jr. ruled that Lisa Jackson, a former manager at celebrity chef Paula Deen’s restaurant, had no standing to sue Deen and her brother Bubba Heirs for race discrimination, reported the Associated Press.

Carlo Allegri / AP

2. The judge ruled against Jackson, who is white, saying that because of her race, she was not the target of unlawful discrimination, reported WSAV.

In the order, the judge wrote:

“the Court concludes that Plaintiff is not an aggrieved party under Title VII because her interests are not those arguably sought to be protected by that statue. At best, Plaintiff is an accidental victim of the alleged racial discrimination. There are no allegations that Defendant Hiers’s racially offensive comments were either directed toward Plaintiff or made with the intent to harass her.”

3. Jackson sued Deen and Heirs after claiming she was subjected to sexual harassment and racist attitudes for five years during her employment at Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House.

4. Deen had admitted to using racial slurs in the past. She was dropped by a host of companies, including the Food Network, following the lawsuit and her admissions.

Jackson’s sexual harassment claims are still intact.

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Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at

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