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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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Previous 15 Comments | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8


I don't believe them an what ashame all this for money how greedy can one lady an chef be. Just goes to prove you can't always be nice to some will come back to get ya. Sad world we live in today.

423 days ago


Its amazing you never hear anything until the Sh$$#%%%$ hits the fan then they come out of the closet. Lets give it a rest. If people don't like what is going on at their job that affects them directly then leave. I am sick of people using racism as a means to get sympathy. Put on your big girl or boys pants and help change things not add fuel to the fire.

423 days ago


I'm so tired of the racist comment being thrown around for everything now. Enough already. Paula Deen is not a racist, and she didn't say that, and ringing a bell is racist? WTF? I don't think they should sell white rice at the store. It's racist. I don't think Snow White's skin should be described as "white as snow". That's racist. Oh and what about "Mary Had A Little Lamb"? It says "her fleece was white as snow". That's racist. See how ridiculous it is? Just shut up. People will say and do anything for money.

423 days ago

Anna Fountain    

That chef is full of crap. no one works that many years for a person and lets them do that to them. It is a sad thing when you show so little loyalty to someone you worked for or with for so long and when they hit a rough patch you jump on the wagon to get money out of her pain. I hope they all lose every dime they ever made and that Paula sues their butts off. Bunch of ungrateful jerks. I am not even a fan of Paulas. I know who she is and I think she is an ok lady. but i cant stand people who take advantage and slander someone just because they can make money off of them.

423 days ago


wow people call racist on her just because of what she said 20 some years ago and just to get money from her are claiming stupid stuff...just like u said tmz how pathetic. bring paula deen back to tv!

422 days ago

shes here    

U ppl need to shut up about the comments cause incase u haven't noticed the press is written all this n yall may think that we say everything is races but yall need to check the comment yall sayin cause they r hurtful god did not create us like this yall shouldn't be callin us black b's n stuff I may be only twelve n lookin at the hurtful comments yall sayin cause I think snow white is suppose to be white its n the name ain't nobody complainin ppl just say that to make us look bad n ppl have been racist twords me like not letting me play n not letting me go some places cause the color of my skin all I'm sayin is I think everyone should for give Paula n give her back her show but stop with the hurtful comments

422 days ago

Ronald Mc Donaldz    

OMG. Give us a break Ms Charles. FIrst blacks were annoyed when they were called Negroes, then Blacks and now the so called new term is African Americans. Tell me, Ms Charles, do you know what country in Africa your grandparents came from. Duh.
Wearing an Aunt Jemima costume and ringing the dinner bell is too racist for 70 grand. Get real lady. Try working at Burger King and hold the pickles and the lettuce for 7 bucks an hour.

422 days ago


My Grandmother Delashmit used to always ring the lunch/supper (I am from Tennessee and we have supper, not dinner) when we were out working in the fields with my Grandfather Delashmit. We did not get angry, we were hungry and went to eat. Why are people so sensitive nowadays?

422 days ago


My Grandmother Delashmit used to ring the lunch/supper (I am from Tennessee and we have supper, not dinner) all of the time when we were out working on the farm with my Grandfather Delashmit. We did not get offended, we were hungry, so we went and ate. People are so touchy nowadays.

422 days ago


Damn leave Paula Deen alone! Dog the Bounty Hunter didn't catch near the **** that they are giving Mrs. Paula Deen. Why is that?

421 days ago

Wayne Harrison    

"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."

She had them serve "hoecakes"???

421 days ago
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