July 12, 2013 01:48:23 GMT
The embattled Southern female cook reforms her team that now includes crisis PR guru Judy Smith and she will be portrayed in positive light via a new Bluewater comic book.
Paula Deen is looking to re-build her image that ruined after her court deposition, in which she admitted to using racial slurs, leaked on the internet. After parting ways with her longtime agent Barry Weiner, the celebrity cook cuts ties with the Oliver Maner firm originally representing her in a lawsuit filed by a former employee Lisa Jackson.
Deen and her brother Earl "Bubba" Hiers were sued for allegedly subjecting to hostile environment rife with innuendo and racial slurs while working in their Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House. Now, the former Food Network star will be represented in the case by Grace Speights, a Washington-based partner in Morgan Lewis' employment practice.
According to PEOPLE, Deen has also hired Patricia Glaser, who once represented Conan O'Brien in his exit from NBC and Keith Olbermann in his litigation with Current TV. Glaser, who shares a Southern upbringing with Deen, will handle any possible legal disputes against the chef and her relationships with sponsors, most of which dropped her after the N-word scandal.
Deen's new list of legal team continues as a report suggests she also works with crisis-management expert Judy Smith, who becomes an inspiration for Kerry Washington's "Scandal" character, Olivia Pope, to further assist her in doing damage control after the controversy arose.
Of her decision to fire her previous legal camp, a source close to Deen says, "She and her team decided the previous attorneys were out of their depth." Despite the drastic change in her team, the embattled chef continues to work with publicity firm, The Rose Group.
One of the things that could help Deen make a comeback may be an upcoming Bluewater comic book for a biographical project that will portray her as a strong, hard-working woman with the exclusion of her recent woes. The book is scheduled to be released in October. The release could also make up her recent loss of multiple-book deal with Ballantine.
"We do not condone her use of racial insensitivities, and think that intolerance has no place in a just society," said Bluewater's president Darren G. Davis to FOX411. "But despite her recent failings, we also strongly believe she still has a powerful story to tell; one that fits the female empowerment model of our books."
Deen's comic book writer Michael Troy added, "Paula Deen is still an inspirational woman who has suffered much adversity in her life and overcome many obstacles. Her story is fascinating and it's easy to see why Bluewater would consider her for their Female Force line of Biography comic books that on powerful women."