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Paula Deen cleared of racist claims in court

Paula Deen cleared of racist claims in court

(Yahoo!) - The racial discrimination claims that practically destroyed Paula Deen's empire have been thrown out of court.

On Monday, a federal judge in Georgia ruled that Lisa Jackson, who is white, has no standing to sue Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, for race discrimination. Jackson had claimed that she endured both racism and sexual harassment during the five years she worked at Deen and Hiers's restaurants in Savannah, Georgia. The sexual harassment claims are still in play.

Deen's spokesperson issued a statement about the court's dismissal of the racial claims: "We are pleased with the Court's ruling today that Lisa Jackson's claims of race discrimination have been dismissed. As Ms. Deen has stated before, she is confident that those who truly know how she lives her life know that she believes in equal opportunity, kindness and fairness for everyone."

But Jackson had alleged that Deen and Hiers regularly used racial slurs while she worked for them. In addition, another employee, who is black, claimed in a New York Times story that she was told to dress like Aunt Jemima and ring a dinner bell for customers.

Last month, Jackson explained to "Today" why she decided to file the suit.

"I may be a white woman, but I could no longer tolerate her abuse of power as a business owner, nor her condonation of [Deen's brother] Mr. Hiers's despicable behavior on a day-to-day basis," she noted. "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."

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