Whether she's hiding a 3-year-old type-2 diabetes diagnosis, inking deals with pharmaceutical companies for diabetes drugs or dropping two pants sizes, Paula Deen is riding an unpredictable public relations roller coaster with the media this year. And now, Deen is back in the headlines: A former restaurant employee is taking Deen and brother Earl “Bubba” Hiers to court over allegations of sexual harassment.
Lisa T. Jackson, a former manager of the Uncle Bubba's Oyster House in Savannah, Ga., filed the 33-page civil lawsuit, which also accuses Deen of condoning racism and accuses Hiers of using racist language around employees and posting pornographic images at work.
Jackson claims that despite many complaints to upper management in Deen's empire, the situation with Hiers was never addressed. A specific conversation between Jackson and Deen is cited, in which Deen suggested that Hiers' 2007 wedding should have a “Southern plantation-style” and black servers at the wedding reception should wear white long-sleeved shirts and black shorts and tap dance around like the days of “Shirley Temple movies.”
The lawsuit names multiple defendants, including Deen's companies: Paula Deen Enterprises LLC, The Lady & Sons LLC, The Lady Enterprises Inc., Earl W. “Bubba” Hiers and Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House Inc.
Deen's management has yet to comment on the suit. Oh, Paula. Where did the butter steer you wrong?