Paula Deen Fires Legal Team In Wake Of N-Word Scandal
Paula Deen hired the real-life inspiration for Scandal's Olivia Pope, Judy Smith
Paula Deen fired the legal team that represented her during the initial stages of the lawsuit that led to her damning testimony last month, in which she admitted to using the N-word. Deen severed times with longtime agent Barry Weiner last week.
The Southern comfort celebrity chef’s decision to let go her defense team from the Oliver Maner firm was caused by stirrings of incompetence. "[Deen] and her team decided the previous attorneys were out of their depth," an insider told the New York Daily News. The firm's attorney’s represented Deen in the civil lawsuit filed against her by former employee, Lisa Jackson, who alleged Deen practiced racial discrimination.
Deen, 66, has hired Grace Speights, a partner in Morgan Lewis’ Labor and Employment practice, to takeover her case. She’s also brought on Hollywood attorney Patricia Glaser. Glaser’s focus will be offering legal insight on Deen’s future career. She has previously represented Keith Olbermann and Conan O’Brien.
Legal issues aren’t Deen’s only troubles, as the controversy surrounding her admission of using the racial epithet in the past has caused a complete public relations crisis. To help curb the fallout with the rest of her sponsors and fans, Deen has hired famous “fixer” Judy Smith. Smith, a former Deputy Press Secretary for President George H. W. Bush, was the real-life inspiration for Scandal’s Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington.
Deen has been fired by the Food Network and has lost a number of her partners, including Smithfield Farms, Walmart, Target and Ballentine Books.