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Aug 23, 2013 07:21 PM

And the Paula case is thrown out

I doubt there will be the media coverage of the dismissal and the sanctions the judge wanted to put against Jacksons Lawyers.

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  1. Careful with your choice of words.

    The lawsuit (the remaining non Civil Rights Act and Title VII portio ) was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff.

    It was not "thrown out" by anyone.

    23 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Agreed, not thrown out, but dismissed after the parties reached a settlement.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Finally some smart lawyering on Deen's side. Whether or not there was a financial settlement or not was kept quiet.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Isn't everything else but the Title VII in state court?

          1. re: ipsedixit

            What ever happened to " sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"? We now have the most whiny generations coming up it will be interesting what will happen next. Racism works both ways, however our one sided media doesnt present it that way.

            1. re: Minifunnycar1

              What do you mean when you say that "racism works both ways"?

              1. re: Minifunnycar1

                Racism works both ways, however our one sided media doesnt present it that way.

                Not sure what you mean by "racism works both ways." That makes no sense; in fact, just typing it seems kind of weird.

                I will say, however, that ignorance does work both ways. And even sideways sometimes.

                1. re: Minifunnycar1

                  Wow. Um, yeah - racism most certainly does not "work both ways."

                  Check your privilege.

                  1. re: Minifunnycar1

                    I think one thing that bears mentioning is that the person who filed the suit, Lisa Jackson, is WHITE. I think people hear that Deen used the N-word and then the name Jackson and assume the charges were made by a black person. And I believe the suit was ultimately principally a sexual harassment suit in which Deen was named, but the main "culprit" was her brother. The racism, and Deen's more active part in the situation, came in because Jackson claimed she was subjected to hearing Deen and her family use racial slurs on a regular basis and that she was asked, as a manager, to enforce policies that were unfair to black employees. If she'd just listed those things as factors contributing to a hostile work environment, they'd probably not have been thrown out, but her attempt to bring in the civil rights of other parties was found problematic, as her lawyer should have known it would be.

                    1. re: ninrn

                      Ypu're way behind here. We've already established all of those points. What killed Paula's empire was not the things she was accused of, but the things she admitted to doing in her deposition. It doesn't matter that Jackson is white, or that her brother was the focus of the harrassment.

                      The things that are a problem are the things she admitted to on her own.

                      1. re: JonParker

                        This is like the chicken or the egg;

                        "What killed Paula's empire was not the things she was accused of, but the things she admitted to doing in her deposition."

                        While you are technically correct, if there weren't any accusations there would have been no deposition either.

                        1. re: jrvedivici

                          I don't think it's a technicality. I was actually really amazed by the whole train wreck. If you want the real root of it, she was using incompetent attorneys and PR people. I don't know if they were old buddies or something similar, but for a major public figure to be using such amateurish counsel in protecting her brand and image was astonishing.

                          Also, my point in the above post was that the fact that Jackson was white and her brother was the harasser were irrelevant in what happened to her. Her attorneys were incompetent in allowing the deposition to go down the track it did, and her PR people were incompetent in allowing her to release those horrible videos, which I actually felt embarrassed watching.

                          Honestly, some lawsuits are better being settled. She could have done that with a gag order on Jackson and none of this would have happened. Either she got terrible legal advice or she overruled her lawyers in taking this case to the mat, and she paid the price. She's lost a whole lot more than the $1.25 million that Jackson was suing for, and even that they probably could have negotiated down.

                          Deen's response to the accusation that her brother was sexually harassing Jackson was a horrible example of a non-denial denial. The correct answer would have been something along the lines of "I've never heard of him doing that, and I wasn't on site enough to know if it was true." Instead she responded with something along the lines of "boys will be boys."

                          Ultimately the responsibility for destroying Paula Deen lies with Paula Deen. Every single thing about this controversy can be laid directly at her feet, even if she was just following bad advice. There are professional attorneys and PR firms who know how to keep this sort of thing from backfiring. She chose not to use them.

                            1. re: JonParker

                              I think it's a worthy to question how much was because of poor legal and PR teams, and how much was her defiance in the face of what would seem common sense. She shunned responsibility for her actions as well as her brother's and turned her apology on those it was supposed to address, so I don't think she believed she was at fault for anything.

                          1. re: JonParker

                            @JonParker - I think you're missing the context of my statement. I wasn't defending Paula Deen or saying anything about the mechanics of her fall. I was responding to the "racism works both ways" commenter who did not appear to know that the person suing was white, and pointing out that the parts of the suit that were "thrown out" were thrown out not because they weren't true, but because the judge found that the plaintiff had no standing to sue on the behalf of the people working under her.

                            Totally agree with your take on Deen's self-destruction, though. Regardless of whether she's an insufferable bigot or not, it would have been so easy to have had the civil rights part dismissed from the start. Any other celebrity's lawyers would have done just that and never let the N-word allegations get out. (The lack of intervention by Food Network counsel really makes me wonder if they wanted to get rid of her anyway.) But Ms. Deen dealt the death blow to her empire all alone. It was almost as if she'd just been waiting for the chance to do so.

                            1. re: ninrn

                              Ok, I apologize. Following these threads is sometimes difficult. I totally agree with your response to that comment. I'm so, so tired of people justifying their racism by saying "they do it too!" So you were right. I was right too, but not as a response to you.

                              Yesterday ABC news ran an article about the science of twerking in response to the Miley Cyrus controversy. A large number of people thought that was insane, and made a huge trending hashtag on Twitter out of #ABCReports. One of my favorites, and there were many, was "But My Other Black Friends Let Me Say It Sometimes": one man's near death experience.
                              If you Twitter, you should check it out. It's really funny.

                      2. re: ipsedixit

                        The racial discrimination portion of the lawsuit was indeed "thrown out" because the party which made the complaint, the white woman, had no "legal standing" to bring a suit on behalf of those she alleged were discriminated against.

                        There were more parts to the case as well, which look like they were settled out of court.

                        1. re: EarlyBird

                          So, the court would be unable to prescribe a remedy

                          1. re: Kalivs

                            For that piece of the suit, correct.

                          2. re: EarlyBird

                            The racial issues that went on contributed to a hostile working environment for Jackson but not as RD. I'm surprised her attorney didnt catch that.

                            I wonder what bubba thinks about all of this.

                            1. re: youareabunny

                              I expect he's thrilled with the outcome. Hopefully he's learned something about acceptable behavior.

                        2. Dismissed "with prejudice" and without any award of costs or fees to any party, so it would appear there is no private financial settlement.

                          Where does she go to get her life back?

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: janniecooks

                            As I understand, a dismissal with award of costs or fees means that the Deen's team isn't asking for lawyer or court fees to be paid by the petitioner's team and vice versa. Doesn't mean there wasn't a private settlement negotiated.

                            1. re: janniecooks

                              I don't think anyone took her life from her. The accusations in the lawsuit didn't kill her career. She did that with her own statements.

                              1. re: janniecooks

                                All lawsuits that are settled outside of trial are dismissed "with prejudice" to avoid suit being filed again,

                                1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                  not all, but many. sometimes suits are dismissed without prejudice on the chance that additional evidence arises or for other reasons.

                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                    The key word in my sentence was "settled" ... I understand that a party can dismiss its own suit without prejudice to refile, but it is generally not the case when both parties reach a "confidential" settlement like in this matter.

                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                      Other reasons being to ensure that the parties make good on the settlement agreement.

                                      1. re: C. Hamster

                                        I can see that being employed. Usually I make sure the parties have made good on the settlement agreement before I file a motion to dismiss with prejudice.

                                2. I just found it curious that the plaintiff who created the sh*t-storm of racism and discrimination was actually WHITE!!!!

                                  Still scratching my head over that one!

                                  21 Replies
                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                    Sexual harassment was a big part of the 80-page complaint.

                                    1. re: maria lorraine

                                      I believe (and could be wrong) that the sexual harrasment portion was directed at her son, a manager of her restaurant, and not Paula herself.

                                      Paula took a beating in the press and lost her TV show as a direct result of her racism (alleged).

                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                        It was her brother, not her son.

                                        1. re: Leepa

                                          Hmmmm much younger brother??? I recall seeing him on the news and based on appearance made the assumption it was her son.

                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                            Not that much younger. I don't recall seeing the brother on TV during any of this. Maybe you saw one of her sons defending her on the news. I know they've done that. But they weren't a part of the original case.

                                            1. re: Leepa

                                              Ok could be, I really didn't pay a great deal to it while it was going on. I just recently read where the plaintiff in the racism charges was in fact a white female. That just really threw me for a loop, obviously I assumed the accuser was some form of a minority.

                                        2. re: jrvedivici

                                          "Paula took a beating in the press and lost her TV show as a direct result of her racism (alleged)."

                                          She, in her depositions, admitted to using racial slurs on multiple occasions.

                                          1. re: NE_Wombat

                                            I'm not defending her in the least, just stating my surprise at the plaintiffs race being "white".

                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                              Should that matter? Does it mean that if we see someone else being harassed we shouldn't raise the issue because it happened to someone else?

                                              1. re: PegS

                                                Of course people should stand up for what is right, even if it is happening to someone else. Maybe especially if it is happening to someone else.

                                                I don't think that means a person has to file a lawsuit from which they plan to personally financially benefit. When asking for damages, I did not read anywhere that the plaintiff planned to give any awards won in court to the actual people who were subjected to racial discrimination.

                                                1. re: jlhinwa

                                                  When this all started, I read the entire deposition and the entire complaint. The racial stuff was largely brought up as evidence that it was in fact a hostile working environment. Most of the complaint was about Ms. Jackson being sexually harrassed.

                                                  1. re: JonParker

                                                    Interesting...I only skimmed the deposition.

                                                    Based on what I've heard/read, it seemed like there was a serious sexual harassment case based on Bubba's behavior and discriminatory employment practices (and Paula's tolerance of them). Wonder why the plaintiff dropped the case?

                                                2. re: PegS

                                                  I don't think that was jrv's point at all. It wasn't passing judgement, just expressing surprise.

                                                  1. re: JonParker

                                                    Exactly thank you. I just loooove when people want try either type words or twist words to express their own views.

                                                  2. re: jrvedivici

                                                    I was responding to your inclusion of "alleged" in reference to facts which were openly admitted.

                                            2. re: jrvedivici

                                              Men march for women's rights. Many whites have fought for minority rights. It's not that strange.

                                              I once reported a hospital for HIPAA violation that occurred to the 2 people ahead of me. Why? Because it was wrong and I had a feeling they didnt know that what just happened to them was illegal. And guess what, corporate never heard of it til I told them.

                                                1. re: youareabunny

                                                  I agree with you, youareabunny. I'm white and I would be pretty offended if I had to hear the "n" word day in and day out.

                                                  1. re: youareabunny

                                                    I'm a white male. But I was raised to not discriminate against people of color, or against people of a different gender. It's what I was taught from an early age.

                                                    My nephew is a cop, and I hope any time you're pulled over and treated decently you remember that we're not the fucking enemy.

                                                    1. re: JonParker

                                                      I'm gonna hafto quote NWA with that last part ;)

                                                2. I've never been a big fan of Miss Deen. In fact, as a Southerner she's always been a bit of an embarrassment to me. ~~ In light of recent news I wonder where all of the various medias, sponsors, book publishers,The Food Network, retailers, etc. are today?... who all seemed to salivate over the allegations. Not to mention the hoard of pompous, pious, pretentious individuals in the public sector that went into orgasmic tremors over the debacle. Maybe hastily searching for Crow recipes? I hear it's fairly palatable if one uses lots and lots of butter.

                                                  22 Replies
                                                  1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                    I'm not sure what you're saying here. First off, the case being settled is getting plenty of media attention. Second, the issue was things that she did in fact say, and it's not like she's been exonerated of saying them.

                                                    There is no crow to be eaten here.

                                                    1. re: JonParker

                                                      So in your opinion the "punishment" fits the "crime"

                                                      1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                        She made statements that Food Network, Walmart, and other businesses did not want to be associated with. It wasn't punishment, it was a business decision, and a perfectly reasonable one.

                                                        I really don't get people who think she's being treated unfairly.

                                                        1. re: JonParker

                                                          Some people just 'don't get it' at all.

                                                          1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                            Assuming that you think she's owed an apology, who should apologize and what for?

                                                            1. re: JonParker

                                                              I dunno. Maybe a rush to judgement. Maybe not.

                                                        2. re: Uncle Bob

                                                          Odious as it may be, it is not a crime to embrace bigoted opinions. It has been demonstrated here and elsewhere that sharing them publicly is unpopular and can be unprofitable for public personalities. So maybe the "punishment" does fit your idea of a "crime".

                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                            Could be the case may prove unprofitable for many.

                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                              I really don't care if she was racist or sexist. I care about how she treated people as a employer & what kind of behavior she explicitly & implicitly condoned in the workplace. It is not illegal to be racist or sexist; it is illegal to discriminate according to your beliefs and to foster a hostile environment.

                                                              1. re: Kalivs

                                                                "It is not illegal to be racist or sexist;"

                                                                True, but it IS, apparently, a very bad business plan - at least in the arena in which she was working.

                                                        3. re: Uncle Bob

                                                          Politicians commented on this? I had no idea. I guess being a country away can be a useful thing.

                                                          1. re: dbrodbeck

                                                            Not sure if any politicians commented on the case or not. They be politicians ...I doubt it.

                                                            1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                              Oh ok, here 'public sector' means politicians and government employees. Pardon my Canadianness, I misunderstood.

                                                              1. re: dbrodbeck

                                                                No problem....I meant the general public....including those who post on food forums, write letters to the editor etc.

                                                          2. re: Uncle Bob

                                                            I think that the reality for celebrity is that there's no way to go through a situation like this and not take, at least a temporary, endorsement hit. No matter what the final legal result it.

                                                            Tiger Woods' crime was to be a bad husband, and that lost him all sorts of endorsement deals. Once that past, he was playing golf again - sponsors came back. Was what he did better or worse than Paula? I'm sure lots of people would have their own opinions on that. But ultimately when it involves big businesses such as WalMart, Target ,etc. - this isn't something they want to be near. It doesn't mean they'll never do business with her again, but she was hardly treated any better or worse than any other celebrity who endorses products and get that degree of bad press.

                                                            I think it's also a bit of a leap to say that because this case is dismissed that she's necessarily innocent of the charges. In this case the petitioner (former employee) and the defendant (Deen & Co.) reached a mutual agreement to drop the suit. For all we know a huge settlement (or a moderate sized one...) was paid along with a gag agreement that it can't be talked about. This wasn't a judge saying that the merits of the case didn't hold or a jury ruling in favor of Deen.

                                                            The case has gone away, but it's in a far more grey area of "innocence".

                                                            1. re: cresyd

                                                              The difference between Deen and Woods - if Woods' public persona is damaged, he's still a pretty decent golf player. Once Deen's public persona is damaged, she has nothing left to market. Her public image WAS her career. That's gone, and I doubt she has anything to offer to get it back.

                                                              Maybe her smart move would be to talk a whole bunch of ill-considered nonsense about the liberal media and persecution and the first amendment... she could at least rile up some of her diehards, stay in the spotlight a little longer via manufactured controversy. Maybe even score one of those cultural commentator talking head spots on some stupid show. Get right back on the wagon and help our culture eat itself (with a generous serving of butter, of course).

                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                I'm no Deen fan, but I'd argue that her public image was crafted upon her cooking talents. I'm in now way arguing that her cooking/recipe talents are anywhere near Woods' golfing, but she does have a new book of recipes coming out. True, it's not being published by a major publisher, but if she really gets out there and sells it - and it's a decent collection of recipes that make good dishes, that's a tangible thing to sell above and beyond her personality.

                                                                I would say that to Deen's credit, she does have more going on that someone like a Kardashian who truly is entirely crafted as a public persona. She can work with recipes. She can manage restaurants that do attract customers. She does have stuff to offer beyond charm.

                                                                1. re: cresyd

                                                                  Cooking is a legit skill, and I don't doubt that the woman can cook (perhaps better than we've ever seen on TV). But there are a few million people in the US who have cooking talents to match or surpass Deens'. Quite a few of em professional cooks, specialists in Southern cooking, or both. I say that not to put down her cooking talents, but just to point out that something besides her cooking talent must be responsible for her success. Cause many people with her cooking talents working ~60 hours a week in the food industry can't afford health insurance.

                                                                  If you want Southern recipes, there are countless others offering em as well or better, often without pay, and certainly without multimillion dollar empires. Deen didn't sell Southern cooking; she sold the image of a certain kind of Southern cooking. She sold comfort and familiarity and reassurance.

                                                                  Her career was 99% image. She was GOOD at crafting her image, leveraging it for more viewers, more exposure, more endorsement deals, etc. Then she f***ed up. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                    Perfectly said! She's a 'personality.' I'll paraphrase you and say "Live by the word, die by the word." As a Southerner she represented a lot of the stereotypes that I wish weren't associated with us.

                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                      Essentially, I agree 100% with you.

                                                                      The degree of her fame and thus financial success was hugely based on her personality and I think getting that back will be tricky if not impossible.

                                                                      However, I think that she does has the chance to have another "Lady's Brunch Burger" (the donut hamburger) moment. I know that personally that the first time I noticed her was when someone told me to check that recipe out, and how her recipes were the most unhealthy, etc etc. I think if she doubles down on some more decadent (aka unhealthy) dish ideas, she would be able to regain attention and then build back. Now with cronuts in the mix, perhaps its time to revamp her Krispy Creme Bread Pudding to become cronut bread pudding.....

                                                                      I agree that she relies more on her personality than a Tiger Woods, but I still say that if she can generate something attention seeking foodwise that will eventually bring people back. If Chris Brown can still have a career (hardly the most talented musician, pled guilty to a felony, and remained wildly unapologetic....), then to write off Deen entirely is too quick. Does Brown have the mainstream career he could have had? Probably not, but he's still selling albums and has won a Grammy since.

                                                                  2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                    Well stated. Deen supporters will compare her to all sorts of entertainers, but her career was based on her sweet, loving mom personality unlike the rappers, standup comedians, athletes, etc. whose behavior they will use to defend her. I've even seen people invoke Richard Pryor's album titles.

                                                                    Aside from not settling the case before it spiraled out of control, Deen's biggest failure was her "apology" (if you can call it that) in which she pointed the finger at every one else and in the end denied any wrong doing. This denial is exactly what outed her true attitudes towards race. Most other celebs who get slapped with the reality of a PR nightmare apologize profusely and/or go to therapy.

                                                              2. Paula vaults into the big time -- her controversy will be an episode of Law and Order: SVU:

                                                                2 Replies