As Paula Deen lay sprawled out on the ground after falling down her crumbling empire of butter and deep fried lard, The New York Times is getting to the bottom of EVERYTHING by talking to a black woman who has worked for the Baroness of Butter for over 20 years. 59-year-old Dora Charles started working with Paula Deen long before she turned artery-clogging deliciousness into millions of dollars and the two were business partners of sorts. Paula considered Dora her “soul sister” and wrote in her memoirs that she’d be “devastated” if she lost Dora. Paula even promised to make Dora rich if she got rich. But it’s been 22 years and as Paula eats beer-battered hundred dollars bill, Dora lives in a trailer and is dealing with a jacked-up shoulder.
Dora tells the Times that she helped open Paula Deen’s flagship restaurant Lady & Sons and they cooked right next to each other for years. When Paula got her Food Network Show, Dora helped her with the recipes and was in a few of the episodes. Dora says that Paula wanted to give a show at Lady & Sons and use her and another employee, Ineata “Jellyroll” Jones, as props. Paula wanted Dora to open the restaurant by ringing a dinner bell at the front doors, but she refused to do that shit, because she says “that’s a symbol to me of what we used to do back in the day.” So Jellyroll did it (above). But Jellyroll said “no” when Paula asked her to wear an Aunt Jemima-like costume while serving cornmeal pancakes to guests. Dora told the Times that she doesn’t think Paula is a bad person, but she doesn’t think she was treated right:
“It’s just time that everybody knows that Paula Deen don’t treat me the way they think she treat me,” she said.
“I’m not trying to portray that she is a bad person,” she said. “I’m just trying to put my story out there that she didn’t treat me fairly and I was her soul sister.”
Dora made under $10 an hour for years as head chef of Lady & Sons, but when she filed a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, her salary was magically upped to $71,000 a year and Paula’s sons offered to fix the floor in her trailer.
When the Times tried to talk to Jellyroll, she said that no bad words about Paula Deen will pass through her lips. Paula Deen’s rep denied that she asked anybody to dress up like Aunt Jemima and said that Dora Charles is just trying to get more money out of her.
The entire story is here if you want to read it. It’s some Miss Millie and Sofia from The Color Purple shit.