Paula Deen's Former Chef Accuses Her of Using Racial Slurs
Paula Deen's longtime cook has come forward with new racism allegations against the chef.
In an interview with The New York Times, Dora Charles, who helped Deen open her famous Lady & Sons restaurant in Savannah, Ga., said Deen often used racial slurs, wanted her to dress like Aunt Jemima and once asked her to ring a dinner bell.
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"I said, 'I'm not ringing no bell.' That's a symbol to me of what we used to do back in the day," Charles said. "It's just time that everybody knows that Paula Deen don't treat me the way they think she treat me."
Deen talked about her relationship with Charles in her 2007 memoir It Ain't All About the Cooking. "If I lost Dora, I would have been devastated," Deen wrote. Charles said that Deen also told her, "Stick with me, Dora, and I promise you one day if I get rich, you'll get rich." But Charles said she was paid less than $10 an hour, even after Deen became a Food Network personality.
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Deen is denying Charles' allegations. "Fundamentally Dora's complaint is not about race but about money," her publicity team told the Times. "It is about an employee that despite over 20 years of generosity feels that she still deserves yet even more financial support from Paula Deen. "
To that, Charles said that she was not seeking any money. "I'm just trying to put my story out there that she didn't treat me fairly and I was her soul sister," she said.
This is just the latest in Deen's racism scandal. In June, a leaked deposition in a discrimination lawsuit revealed Deen's use of racial slurs. Soon after, Food Network fired Deen, who was subsequently was dropped by a number of sponsors.