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Embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen is bringing in some Hollywood firepower in the wake of her N-word scandal.
Patricia Glaser, the litigator who handled Conan O’Brien‘s exit from NBC and recently represented Keith Olbermann in his litigation with Current TV, has been hired to lead Deen’s legal team, a source confirms to The Hollywood Reporter.
Glaser, a regular honoree on THR‘s annual Power Lawyers list of the top entertainment attorneys in America, will not be representing Deen in the lawsuit filed by Lisa Jackson, a former manager of Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House that Deen co-owns with her brother. Deen has parted ways with the Oliver Maner firm that was representing her in that case and has brought on Grace Speights, a Washington-based partner in Morgan Lewis’ employment practice.
Rather, Glaser and her Los Angeles-based firm will serve as overall counsel to Deen, managing any future legal dustups that might arise and handling her relationships with sponsors, most of whom dropped her after a deposition was made public in which Deen admitted to using the N-word decades ago.
Glaser declined to comment.
Besides being one of the top litigators in Hollywood, Glaser shares a Southern upbringing with her new client, having been raised in West Virginia. A source says a phone call between Deen and Glaser was arranged recently on the recommendation that the chef hire a strong female attorney with experience handling high-profile matters.
Deen continues to work with public relations firm The Rose Group, and People, which first mentioned Glaser’s involvement, reported that Deen has hired crisis PR guru Judy Smith, who is the basis for the lead character on ABC’s Scandal.
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