Get ready for a free-for-all over one of the summer’s most highly sought after videos: Paula Deen‘s racially insensitive comments from a May deposition — part of a suit by a former Deen employee who charged that she saw multiple instances of racial and sexual discrimination. The leaked written transcript of the celebrity chef’s comments helped to upend her business empire including her affiliation with the Food Network. But the U.S. District Court for Southern Georgia this week returned the video to the plaintiff’s lawyers. It accepted the video on May 30 because “the written transcript of that deposition was not available at that time,” a July 10 note by court clerk Scott Poff says. Since the transcript was filed on June 11, “the Court’s access to the video is no longer necessary.” As a result, the court “is now removing the video from its possession and returning it to you.” News organizations led by Atlanta TV station WSB and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wanted the court to release the DVD. The court’s decision about the video comes as Deen shakes up the team she has defending her. She just replaced her attorneys, hiring Washington, DC-based super lawyer Grace Speights at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. She also recently split from her long-time agent, Barry Weiner.
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