Paula Deen, Brother Sued for Sexual Harassment
The former general manager of a Georgia restaurant co-owned by Paula Deen and her brother has sued the duo for sexual harassment, The Associated Press reports.
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Lisa Jackson, who worked at Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah from 2005 to 2010, says in the lawsuit that Deen and her brother, Bubba Heirs, made numerous inappropriate and racist remarks during her tenure and subjected her to a hostile work environment.
Among the claims: Heirs regularly made offensive, sexual comments at Jackson, targeted her with unwanted advances (he once kissed her and then spit on her), watched pornography in the office they shared, distributed pictures of women having sex at a meeting and complained about heavier staff members, the suit said.
Jackson, who is white, also accuses Heirs and Deen of racism, claiming that the two frequently used racial slurs and that Heirs once violently shook a black employee. Furthermore, the restaurant banned black staff members from using a customer restroom that white staffers were allowed to use and required them to use the back entrance, according to the suit.
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Jackson quit in August 2010 on the advice of her doctor after she started having panic attacks, but she says that she "continues to endure immense pain and has suffered greatly at the hands of Defendants' outrageous and intolerable conduct." She is seeking unspecified damages.
A rep for Deen declined to comment because of pending litigation.