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Paula Deen lawsuit dismissed; no word if there is settlement

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Highlights
  • Federal lawsuit is over
  • It's unclear whether dismissal meant a settlement
  • A former employee had sued Paula Deen

By Phil Gast

A lawsuit filed by a former employee who leveled accusations of racism against Paula Deen has been dismissed in federal court "with prejudice," meaning it cannot be filed again.

It was not immediately clear Friday afternoon whether there was a settlement in the civil suit.

Earlier this month, a judge dismissed a portion of the lawsuit that contended Lisa Jackson was a victim of racial discrimination.

Deen released a statement Friday, said she believes "in kindness and fairness for everyone."

"While this has been a difficult time for both my family and myself, I am pleased that the judge dismissed the race claims and I am looking forward to getting this behind me, now that the remaining claims have been resolved."

Jackson alleged that Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers committed numerous acts of violence, discrimination and racism that resulted in the end of her five years of employment at The Lady and Sons, and Uncle Bubba's Oyster House -- two Savannah, Georgia, restaurants run by Deen and her family.

But Jackson could not claim to be a victim of racial discrimination targeting African-American workers because she is white, U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. ruled in early August.

Other aspects of the lawsuit, including sexual harassment and abusive treatment, were still pending until Friday's order from Moore in Savannah.

Savannah is where Deen built her business and brand into what many consider the folksy face of Southern cooking.

In the media firestorm that followed, Deen lost lucrative endorsements and her Food Network cooking show, while the publication of her eagerly anticipated cookbook was canceled.

In her statement, Deen thanked Jackson for five years of service at Uncle Bubba's.

"Moving forward my team and I are working to review the workplace environment issues that were raised in this matter and to retool all of my businesses operations," Deen said. "I look forward to getting back to doing what I love."

CNN's Cristy Lenz contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
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