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Paula Deen

I Did NOT Dress Up Black Chef Like Aunt Jemima

7/25/2013 8:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0725_PAULA_DEEN_TMZ2Paula Deen is calling BS on a former chef who claims Deen made an African-American employee dress up like Aunt Jemima ... claiming the chef is crying racism in a pathetic money grab.

The woman behind the allegations is Dora Charles -- who ran Deen's kitchens for 22 years and helped open Paula's famous Lady & Sons restaurant in Georgia.

Charles spoke with the New York Times -- and claimed Deen wouldn't just use racial slurs in the kitchens, but wanted to dress up her employees as humiliating stereotypes.

Among the allegations, Charles says Deen tried to make her ring a dinner bell for restaurant customers ... something Charles felt was racially charged.

"That's a symbol to me of what we used to do back in the day," Charles said.

Charles also claims Deen tried to make another black female employee, Ineata Jones, dress up in an "old style Aunt Jemima outfit" while flipping hoecakes at a dining station.

But Deen says ... she's not only confident Charles is making the whole thing up -- but claims on July 6, Jones signed a legal document saying she had never felt discriminated against and never heard Deen spout racial slurs during her employment.

Charles has not filed a lawsuit, but claims she wants to get her story out so everyone will know the real Paula Deen.

Deen's camp fired back in a statement saying, "Dora's complaint is not about race but about money. It is about an employee that despite over 20 years of generosity feels that she still deserves yet even more financial support from Paula Deen."

Of course, Deen has previously admitted that she used the N-word ... but insists she never directed the slur at any of her employees.

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200 COMMENTS

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31.

gutsygirl    

We lived on a farm growing up. My Dad rang a dinner bell everyday. He also started the United Negro College Fund in our town. Think he's a racist?

402 days ago
32.

Mikey    

Now we have to pretend that blacks don't like fried chicken and watermelon and only white people like those things.

402 days ago
33.

KAH    

If it was so bad why continue to work there?

402 days ago
34.

Mikey    

Fried Chicken, Watermelon, Malt Liquor........


Racist, Racist, Racist. Mean and hurtful words.

402 days ago
35.

Angel3    

I have a Dinner Bell that I ring for the boys to come in for supper and I'm so white I glo!! Really getting sick and tired of every dang thing a white person does being classified as "racial" but its just fine for a African American to say anything racial they feel like spewing. I have been the subject of a number of "racial" comments by African Americans, and you don't dare respond or they start freaking out. AND last I checked people only .01% of the white people in Colonial America had slaves.. slaves that were brought over here because your Queen sold you (check your history). Neither I, nor my ancestors had any slaves... and in fact when my ancestors came over I'm sure they were treated worse than the slaves.

402 days ago
36.

Michael S. Terrell    

sounds like this employee is really mad that now that Paula Deen is losing everything she wants to cash in before it's all gone...always got to be someone looking for free money when they don't deserve it.

402 days ago
37.

NOT ELMO    

Paula Deen I Did NOT Dress Up Black Chef Like Aunt Jemima...............Is PAULA DEEN The TWIN Sister Of OPRAH ?????............LOL

402 days ago
38.

Mikey    

So only Aunt Jemima and white people are allowed to dress like Aunt Jemima?

402 days ago
39.

Donka Do Ball    

This won't stop until Paula shows up in black-face.

402 days ago
40.

az_barbie66    

Dora Charles - you need to get some pride. Nobody believes your BS and you just come off as pathetic and a money grubber!

402 days ago
41.

whatsup    

Good for Paula in standing up against this type of extorsion!! And good for her new public relations team for immediately responding with a resounding denial and stating Paula's position.

You go Paula Dean! Don't back down and stop this illegal activity against you and your character!

402 days ago
42.

ChrisH    

Usually where there's smoke..... there's fire!

402 days ago
43.

Nickylala    

Yes Ladies and Gentleman... Now the dinner bell has been deemed racist.

402 days ago
44.

Kiranda    

Let's all jump on the money train! I feel so sorry for Paula. Enough already!

402 days ago
45.

Aunt Jemima    

This is asinine. She sure didn't mind collecting a check for 22 years ... and now all of a sudden "ringing a dinner bell" is racist. Any person of ANY type who plays a card, be it race / sex / religion is s*** in my book. Be a real man (or woman) and stop cryin'.

402 days ago
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