The litigator who managed Conan O’Brien’s NBC exit and helped Keith Olbermann reach a settlement with Current TV has now been hired to oversee legal matters concerning embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen.
Hollywood powerhouse Patricia Glaser will not defend Deen in her civil lawsuit against Lisa Jackson, the former general manager at one of Deen’s Savannah, Georgia-based restaurants who filed racial discrimination charges against her. Instead, Glaser and her Los Angeles-based firm will counsel Deen on any future legal issues that may arise, and handle her relationships with sponsors—most of whom have dropped her (Wal-Mart, Caesars, Smithfield foods, among others) after her May 17 legal deposition was made public in which she admitted to making racial slurs at work. (Read: Paula Deen’s Empire Crumbles)
In her deposition, Deen said “Yes, of course” she has used the “N” word. (Read: In Legal Deposition, Paula Deen Confesses to Using the 'N Word', Telling Racist Jokes) Deen later told Today Show host Matt Lauer that she’s not sure if black people are offended by the “N” word.
Replacing Savannah-based law firm Oliver Maner LLP to defend Deen against Jackson’s lawsuit is Grace Speights, a Washington, D.C.-based partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment practice. "They are one of the top labor firms in the country," a source told People.
People has also reported that Deen, who will continue to work with publicity firm The Rose Group, has also hired crisis PR force Judy Smith, who is the inspiration for the lead character, Olivia Pope, on ABC’s hit drama Scandal.