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Paula Deen Fires Lawyers a Week After Dumping Her Agent

Image: Paula Deen Fires Lawyers a Week After Dumping Her Agent

Friday, 12 Jul 2013 08:15 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Paula Deen has fired her Georgia-based legal team of Oliver Maner LLP and replaced it with the international law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius as well as attorneys from the law office of Weiner, Shearhouse, Weitz, Greenberg & Shawe.

The decision comes just one week after Deen fired her longtime agent Barry Weiner.

The Deen team shakeup stems from the controversy surrounding her recent admission of using racial slurs in the past.

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Since the scandal broke in June, Deen has lost endorsement deals with multiple companies, including Smithfield Foods and the Diabetes Drug Maker Novo Nordisk which both dropped her as a spokeswoman.

Shortly after Deen admitted to having used the N-word during a court deposition, The Food Network, which launched Deen's career with her show "Paula's Home Cooking" in 2002, announced it would not be renewing her contract which ended last month.

In an apparent attempt to breathe new life into her seemingly dwindling career and recoup whatever money she might be owed from her terminated contracts, Paula Deen Enterprises' new legal team includes attorneys with expertise in wrongful termination and other employment matters.

Deen's new legal team includes the likes of Grace E. Speights, Jocelyn R. Cuttino, Alexis M. Thomas from the Washington D.C. law office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and Harvey Weitz, Malcolm Mackenzie III, and William Glass from Weiner, Shearhouse, Weitz, Greenberg & Shawe, NBC's TODAY reported.

Deen's former law firm of Oliver Maner told TODAY that on Friday it would be issuing a statement with regards to the recent developments in Deen's case.

An Emmy Award-winning television personality who was known for her Southern charm and fattening food, Deen admitted to using racial slurs in a court deposition in May, having been sued for $1.2 million by the former general manager of her Savannah, Ga., restaurant, Lisa Jackson.

In the 2012 suit, Jackson claimed that Deen used the N-word at the eatery and her brother, Bubba Hiers, allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted employees.

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When asked if she had ever used the N-word, the 66-year-old Deen acknowledged using the derogatory term in the three-hour deposition saying, "Yes, of course."

Deen added at a later point in the testimony that "Things have changed since the '60s in the South. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do."

Deen has since made multiple apologies for her past actions to no avail, having seen her contracts cut with at least a dozen companies since the scandal broke, NBC News notes.

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