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Judge OKs deal to dismiss Paula Deen suit

By Dana Ford and Phil Gast, CNN
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue August 27, 2013
Southern TV personality and chef Paula Deen is the author of 14 cookbooks, runs a bi-monthly magazine and is the owner of Savannah restaurant The Lady and Sons. Here she attends the 2010 CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Southern TV personality and chef Paula Deen is the author of 14 cookbooks, runs a bi-monthly magazine and is the owner of Savannah restaurant The Lady and Sons. Here she attends the 2010 CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
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Southern TV chef Paula Deen
Southern TV chef Paula Deen
Southern TV chef Paula Deen
Southern TV chef Paula Deen
Southern TV chef Paula Deen
Southern TV chef Paula Deen
Southern TV chef Paula Deen
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A former employee had sued Paula Deen
  • Deen's career went into a tailspin after her deposition in the lawsuit
  • In her deposition, Deen admitted using the "N-word"
  • Lawsuit was dismissed "with prejudice," meaning it cannot be filed again

(CNN) -- A federal judge Monday approved a deal dismissing a lawsuit against celebrity chef Paula Deen.

The lawsuit, filed by a former employee who leveled accusations of racism and sexual harassment, was dismissed "with prejudice," meaning it cannot be filed again, according to a court filing.

Deen's career and public reputation went into a tailspin this summer after her deposition in the lawsuit, in which she admitted using the "N-word" in the past, was released.

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 the wake of the recent deposition in which Paula Deen admitted to using racially charged language, many sponsors and partners have re-evaluated their relationship with the embattled chef. Deen's 15th cookbook, "Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up," was set to release in October 2013. The book shot to the top of Amazon's pre-order list, but has now been canceled by Ballantine Books. In the wake of the recent deposition in which Paula Deen admitted to using racially charged language, many sponsors and partners have re-evaluated their relationship with the embattled chef. Deen's 15th cookbook, "Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up," was set to release in October 2013. The book shot to the top of Amazon's pre-order list, but has now been canceled by Ballantine Books.
Paula Deen's empire
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Photos: Paula Deen\'s empire Photos: Paula Deen's empire
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U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. in Savannah, Georgia, signed off on the deal, which requires both parties to pay their own court costs and attorney fees. It was not immediately clear whether there was a settlement.

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

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.

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

When news of the deal to dismiss the lawsuit first spread last week, Deen released a statement, saying 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," she said.

Deen's extortionist signs plea agreement

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