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Pastor Who Sued Whole Foods Over Cake Admits Hoax

Pastor Jordan Brown alleged an employee wrote a gay slur in icing
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2016 12:56 PM CDT
Pastor Who Sued Whole Foods Over Cake Admits Hoax
A screenshot from the surveillance footage released by Whole Foods; Brown is in lower right.   (YouTube)

The Texas pastor who sued an Austin Whole Foods over an "extremely offensive and humiliating" cake now admits the grocery story "did nothing wrong." Pastor Jordan Brown alleged a homophobic slur was written on his cake in icing beneath the words he had requested—"Love Wins." Whole Foods immediately counter-sued, noting store surveillance video shows an unperturbed Brown paying for the cake, which had a UPC label stuck on top, on April 14. Brown said he never opened the box, and pointed to the UPC label—affixed to the bottom and side, in his video —as proof. The New York Times story on the about-face notes that Brown's original claim roused "armchair detectives, including at least one icing expert," who suggested there's no way Brown wouldn't have seen the slur through the cake's clear-plastic box top.

Now, the openly gay pastor admits there was nothing wrong with the dessert. "I was wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story," he said in a statement, per the Austin American-Statesman. Whole Foods released a statement of its own: "Given Mr. Brown’s apology and public admission that his story was a complete fabrication, we see no reason to move forward with our counter suit to defend the integrity of our brand and team members." KEYE notes that Brown apologized to more than just the chain at large: He also expressed that he was especially sorry about the "terrible position ... the bakery associate ... was put in. ... 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." (Read more hoax stories.)

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