A federal judge on Monday tossed out a racial discrimination claim against Paula Deen that damaged the former Food Network star’s business empire after Deen admitted during a deposition for the case that she had used the N-word in the past.
The judge ruled that a white former employee of Paula Deen had no standing to file a claim of racial discrimination against Deen, The New York Times reports. The former employee, Lisa T. Jackson, alleged discrimination against black workers that she claimed created a tough work environment for her. She also added that the biases were "more personally offensive" to her because she has biracial nieces.
The judge, however, ruled that Jackson doesn’t meet the standard for protection under federal law and that she wasn’t anything other than "an accidental victim of the alleged racial discrimination.”
Deen lost major business deals, including Food Network and Smithfield Foods, as the scandal over her deposition spiraled out of control in recent months.
Monday’s order doesn’t affect Jackson’s sexual harassment allegations in the lawsuit, the story says. Deen and Jackson continue to have settlement talks.
"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,” Deen’s spokewoman said.