Paula Deen has been accused of making racist comments, and her brother Earl W. "Bubba" Hiers has been charged with exhibiting sexist behaviors at a restaurant co-owned by Deen and Bubba in Savannah, Georgia.
Lisa Jackson, a former employee of Paula Deen Enterprises, alleges the celebrity chef said the following while planning Bubba's wedding, reported Gawker.com:
"Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n***ers 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. 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 says she first served as a hostess at Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House in 2005. Within six months, she was promoted to general manager, reported Courthouse News. She says Bubba harassed her relentlessly for five years.
"In addition to inescapable pornography he brought to the workplace, Bubba Hiers' harassing and abusive comments were often loud and without apparent concern for customers, vendors, staff or anyone else near him," the complaint states.
But Deen's law firm says Jackson's lawsuit "makes false allegations against Paula Deen and they will be proven false in court," reported The Huffington Post. Attorneys for Deen said Jackson made false claims after Deen refused to pay her to stay quiet.
The star of the Food Network show Paula’s Home Cooking was recently criticized for announcing on the Today Show that she has type 2 diabetes and has known for three years. During her public disclosure, she plugged the pharmaceutical brand Novo Nordisk. She is a paid spokesperson for the drug company. She also took the opportunity to introduce her new website “Diabetes in a New Light," created in partnership with the makers of the diabetes medication.
Deen claimed on the Today Show that she regularly eats healthy food—when not producing her TV show segment and preparing "southern cooking" like burgers sandwiched between doughnuts.
Nonetheless, while on a seven-day Caribbean cruise in January, the 65-year-old chef was caught gorging on a cheeseburger and fries.