When asked about her brother’s alleged poor work habits, she said, “My brother is completely capable unless he’s being sabotaged.”
But Deen admitted that after her brother was caught taking money from the restaurant, as much as $26,000 a month, he received a pay increase and the money he took was recharacterized as wages.
When Jackson’s attorney asked Deen whether she knew that consultants hired to study the company’s operations reported that Jackson had “fodder for an EEOC complaint,” Deen replied “It was Lisa’s mouth that was doin’ the talking so I’m sure they came to that conclusion.”
On Friday, Deen canceled an appearance on the “Today Show,” then posted a couple of rambling, apology videos online in the afternoon. She said she had not been well enough to appear on “Today,” and I believe her. In the videos she looks like an emotional mess. She has promised to appear on the show Wednesday, when, presumably, she will have rehearsed a full-throated appeal for mercy.
I’m not especially invested in her career, or the outcome of this scandal, though many of her fans seem to be in a forgiving mood.
The saddest thing in all this is that despite being one of the Food Network’s biggest stars, and by extension, one of the country’s biggest TV stars, Paula Deen has been able to operate in an anachronistic bubble of white Southern privilege.
She and her brother need to be reminded: Just because you employ someone doesn’t mean you can treat them like a slave.