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Judge Throws Out Racial Claims in Paula Deen Lawsuit

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Screengrab: Eater / Today Show, June 26

The racial discrimination lawsuit that kick-started the national nightmare of PaulaDeenGate has been thrown out of court. Earlier today, a Georgia federal judge dismissed the suit filed against ex-Food Network star Paula Deen, in which former employee Lisa Jackson alleged she was exposed to racist behavior in Deen's Savannah restaurant Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House. According to the Savannah Morning News, U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore Jr. dismissed Jackson's racial discrimination claims because Jackson, who is white, did not actually experience unlawful discrimination or racially offensive comments directed toward herself.

In his decision, Moore writes: "At best, Plaintiff is an accidental victim of the alleged racial discrimination." As a result, "Plaintiff's claims under the Civil Rights Act of 1866, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for hostile work environment and disparate treatment based on racial discrimination are DISMISSED."

Deen's off the hook legally, but her admitted use of the N-word (among other disturbing racially charged incidents) in her deposition lead to an epic-fail of an apology and the resulting deterioration of Deen's empire. Jackson's lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and gender discrimination is still pending.

· Judge Dismisses Racial Claims in Paula Deen Lawsuit [Savannah Now]
· All Paula Deen Coverage on Eater [-E-]