AUSTIN, Texas — A gay Texas pastor who accused a Whole Foods employee of writing a slur on a chocolate cake he purchased has dropped his lawsuit, and apologized to the company and the LGBT community on Monday.
Pastor Jordan Brown issued a statement apologizing to the grocery chain, saying “the company did nothing wrong,” KXAN reported.
Today I am dismissing my lawsuit against Whole Foods Market. The company did nothing wrong. I was wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story. I want to apologize 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. I apologize to the LGBT community for diverting attention from real issues. I also want to apologize to my partner, my family, my church family, and my attorney.
Whole Foods also announced it is dropping its countersuit against Brown.
“We’re very pleased that the truth has come to light,” Whole Foods said in a statement. “Given Mr. Brown’s apology and public admission that his story was a complete fabrication, we see no reason to move forward with our countersuit to defend the integrity of our brand and team members.”
Brown is an openly gay pastor and preaches at the non-denominational Church of Open Doors. In April, he claimed he asked the bakery department to write “Love Wins” on a chocolate cake at the flagship Whole Foods in Austin, Texas.
When he went to pick it up, “Love Wins F**” was spelled out on the cake, Brown told KXAN. He said in a lawsuit he didn’t notice the slur on the cake until he was at a stop light driving home and was “horrified” by it.
Whole Foods immediately denied the claim and filed a countersuit the next day.
“The team member wrote ‘Love Wins’ at the top of the cake as requested by the guest and that’s exactly how the cake was packaged and sold at the store. Our team members do not accept or design bakery orders that include language or images that are offensive. Whole Foods Market has a zero tolerance policy for discrimination,” Whole Foods wrote in a statement.
The company also released surveillance footage to dispute Brown’s claims.