Paula Deen, February 2013 (Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
Paula Deen's nightmarish summer is done, although the PR damage she's suffered will take years to recover from.
On Friday, the TV chef settled the racially tinged lawsuit with Lisa T. Jackson that started the downfall of her Southern cooking empire. In joint statements released through their attorneys, Deen and the plaintiff said that they were grateful to put this chapter in their lives behind them.
"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," Deen's statement began.
"I wish Ms. Deen and her family all the best in all of their future endeavors and I am very pleased that this matter has now been resolved and can now be put behind us," read a portion of the statement released by Jackson, Deen's former employee.
(Full statements below.)
The case, in which Deen was accused of using the N-word and hosting a plantation-themed soiree, was dismissed with prejudice (which means the suit can't be filed again) and without any official award of costs or fees to any party. Neither side would comment on out-of-court financial terms.
"The matter has been amicably resolved," attorney Matthew Billips, who has been representing Jackson in the suit, told The Wrap. "I have said all I can say."
Of course, after being dropped by several of her most prominent sponsors, the damage to Deen has been immeasurable.
"She's never going to come back whole, she's never going to come back to where she once was," Howard Bragman, chairman of Reputation.com, told Reuters back in June. "Do I think she can salvage some measure of a career? Yes I do, there's a lot of people who still like her — the butter manufacturers of America. But she's never going to come back whole."
Hey, there's always "Dancing With the Stars"!
Here are the full statements from Deen and Jackson:
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.
During this time my faith has strengthened me and the tremendous outpouring of support as well as prayers from folks from all walks of life has been both humbling and overwhelming.
I am confident that those who truly know how I live my life know that I believe in kindness and fairness for everyone.
Lisa Jackson worked at Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House for more than five years and we appreciate her service.
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. I look forward to getting back to doing what I love.
Lisa Jackson Statement
During a very difficult period in my life the Deen family gave me hope and the opportunity to work to build a brighter future for my family and me.
I assumed that all of my complaints about the workplace environment were getting to Paula Deen, but I learned during this matter that this was not the case. The Paula Deen I have known for more than eight years, is a woman of compassion and kindness and will never tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind toward anyone.
I now know that the workplace environment issues that I raised are being reviewed and will in the future no longer be at issue.
I wish Ms. Deen and her family all the best in all of their future endeavors and I am very pleased that this matter has now been resolved and can now be put behind us.
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