A Texas pastor caused a public outcry last month after he claimed that a cake he bought at Whole Foods was decorated with a homophobic slur.
Jordan Brown, an openly gay pastor at Austin’s Church of Open Doors, is now reversing those claims — and dropping a lawsuit he filed against Whole Foods — after the company threatened a countersuit, The New York Times reports.
In a statement on Monday, Brown said:
“The company did nothing wrong. I was wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story.
I want to apologise to Whole Foods and its team members for questioning the company’s commitment to its values, and especially the bakery associate who I understand was put in a terrible position because of my actions.”
Brown had accused Whole Foods of selling him a cake decorated with the words “Love Wins F–.” He posted a tearful
video about it last month.
“When I got into my vehicle, I looked inside and saw they had wrote ‘Love Wins F–‘ on it,” Brown said in the video. “You can see it nice and clear. Also, it is still in a sealed box. As you see, I have not opened up this box yet.”
The video went viral online and he filed a lawsuit alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“Pastor Jordan spent the remainder of the day in tears,” the suit reads.
“The potential for racial, sexual, religious, and anti-LGBT slurs to be written on personalised cakes is high, and Whole Foods knew or should have known that slurs or harassing messages could be written on cakes and then presented to a customer without any oversight or prior warning.”
Whole Foods rejected Brown’s claims and threatened a countersuit.
The countersuit claims Brown “intentionally, knowingly and falsely accused Whole Foods and its employees of writing the homophobic slur … on a custom made cake that he ordered from WFM’s Lamar Store in Austin.”
The company also released a statement saying it reviewed security footage and determined that Brown had tampered with the cake.
“After a deeper investigation of Mr. Brown’s claim, we believe his accusations are fraudulent and we intend to take legal action against both Mr. Brown and his attorney,” the company wrote.
The company also released a video of Brown checking out to prove that the label on the cake box was on top of the box. You can see Brown checking out in the bottom-right side of the video.
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