The woman suing Paula Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers for racial discrimination has broken her silence.
“This lawsuit has never been about the N-word,” Lisa Jackson said in a statement reported by CNN. Deen admitted to having used the racial slur in the past in a deposition that was recently made public, prompting a firestorm of scrutiny and number of businesses to cut ties with her, including The Food Network, Walmart, Sears and Home Depot, among others.
“[The lawsuit] 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.”
Jackson, a former manager at Deen’s restaurants in Savannah, Ga., has accused the TV chef and her brother of committing multiple acts of violence, discrimination and racism that resulted in the end of her five-year employment with them. Deen’s lawyer has called the allegations false.