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Wednesday
Jul032013

Paula Deen's Lawyers Cite Prop 8 Ruling to Get Lawsuit Dismissed

Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Lawyers for Paula Deen are citing the Supreme Court's recent decision regarding California's Prop 8 as a reason why a court should dismiss Lisa Jackson's federal lawsuit against Deen and her brother, Earl "Bubba" Hiers, according to E! Online.

Jackson, who is a former manager of the pair's Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah, Ga., filed a racial and sexual harassment complaint last year.  It was Deen's deposition in the case last month -- in which she admitted that she's used the N-word in the past -- that resulted in her losing major sponsors and her relationship with the Food Network.

Deen's lawyers are contending in court papers filed this week that one of the plaintiff's main claims -- that she was offended by Deen’s use of a racial slur since she had biracial nieces -- is not accurate, because the girls are her partner's nieces and they are Hispanic, not African-American.

Deen's attorneys also cite the opinion of Chief Justice John Roberts in the Prop 8 case, in which he wrote that in order for a person to have standing to sue, they must prove they have "suffered a concrete and particularized injury that is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct."

Basically, Deen's camp is arguing that because Jackson is white, she doesn't have the grounds to bring the case because she can’t sue on the basis of racial discrimination that may have affected others.

Deen originally filed her motion to dismiss on Dec. 18, 2012, but she added this supplemental brief on Monday in a U.S. District Court in Georgia.

Meanwhile, Jackson has broken her silence.  She said in a statement provided to CNN, "This lawsuit has never been about the N-word."  She added, "It is to address Ms. Deen’s patterns of disrespect and degradation of people that she deems to be inferior."

Jackson continued, "I may be a white woman, but I could no longer tolerate her abuse of power as a business owner, nor her condonation of Mr. Hiers' despicable behavior on a day-to-day basis.  I am what I am, and I am a human being that cares about all races.  And that is why I feel it is so important to be the voice for those who are too afraid to use theirs."

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