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Paula Deen has done a lot of stupid sh-t in her lifetime, but dressing someone up like Aunt Jemima isn’t one of them. Deen denies new allegations that she wanted one of her Black employees in an outfit similar to the queen of flapjacks.

Speaking to the New York Times, Chef Dora Charles –an ex employee at the 66-Year-old’s Lady & Sons restaurant in Savannah, Ga. –accused Deen of several racist moves.

Charles worked for the mogul for 22 years (first making $10 an hour, even after Deen’s Food Network stardom) and attests to the discriminatory behavior exposed by previous allegations, and her own admission. “It’s just time that everybody knows that Paul Deen don’t treat me the way they think she treat me,” Charles said.

Deen wrote in a 2007 book that she would be “devastated” to ever lose Charles. She was bumped up to a $71,000 a year salary, and claims the culinary maven once wanted her to ring a dinner bell for guests –like a slave. “That’s a symbol to me of what we used to do back in the day,” she said.

She further alleged that Deen wanted another Black female employee, Ineata Jones, dress in an “old-style Aunt Jemima outfit” while flipping pancakes.

A rep for Deen denies the whole thing. “Dora’s complaint is not about race but about money,” the spokesperson said.  “It is about an employee that despite over 20 years of generosity feels that she deserves yet even more financial support from Paula Deen.”

Charles being a bitter employee can’t be ruled out. She says Deen promised, “One day if I get rich you’ll get rich,” but doesn’t have the statement in writing because she thought the two “were real close back then.”

Deen’s credibility is also up for debate. Aside from keeping quiet, then admitting to using a racial slur, a series of ill-advised apology efforts didn’t help her unfavorable public profile. She’s also watched her multi-million empire crumble amid the controversy.


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