Harassment lawsuit against celebrity chef Paula Deen dismissed
Aug 23 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday dismissed the final component of a racial discrimination and sexual harassment case against celebrity chef Paula Deen that has cost the Southern culinary star a big chunk of her multimillion-dollar enterprise.
In dismissing the sexual harassment aspect of the case, U.S. District Judge William Moore wrote that no awards or fees were awarded to either party, according to court documents. Moore's dismissal did not address the substance of the case.
The lawsuit against Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, was brought by Lisa Jackson, a five-year employee of Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House, a restaurant owned by the siblings in Savannah, Georgia.
Jackson claimed she had been the victim of sexual harassment. Jackson, who is white, also alleged there was a pattern of racial discrimination against black employees at the restaurant.
Earlier this month, Moore dismissed the racial discrimination allegations because any racially offensive remarks were not directed at Jackson or intended to harass Jackson.
Deen, 66, admitted in a deposition in the case that she had used the "N-word," an admission that prompted Scripps Networks Interactive Inc to drop her cooking show from its cable television channel, the Food Network.
Other companies, including Smithfield Foods, pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk and retailers Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Target, also rushed to cut their ties with Deen, dropping her as a celebrity endorser and announcing they would no longer carry the cookbooks, housewares and other products that helped Deen build a multimillion-dollar enterprise.
(Reporting By Edith Honan; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Bill Trott)