Paula Deen, cook, restaurant owner, author, and host of several Food Network series has built a media empire which is slowly starting to crumble. The southern belle built her career on her tasty recipes and warm personality. Born in 1947 Paula Ann Hiers Deen has two sons Jamie and Bobby who she started a catering business with.
She grew up in a Southern Baptist household. Both of her parents died before she was 23 years old. After a series of bad marriages which began when she was still a teenager, Paula uprooted from Albany Georgia and began living in Savannah. After the success of her sandwich catering business The Bag Lady she opened several restaurants in throughout the city. With critical praise and news outlets ranking her dishes as some of the best she grew her business even further to other southern states including North Carolina.
She was introduced to Gordon Elliott who was a TV personality and producer. Paula was featured in several Food Network series before landing her own “Paula’s Home Cooking” which premiered in 2002. Since then she has released over 14 cook books and a biography, and has appeared on Oprah.
Currently the Southern cook has landed in a slue of trouble for use of the N word in public.
Deen and her brother are being sued for alleged sexual and racial harassment by a former manager of Deen’s restaurants in Savannah, Georgia. Lisa T. Jackson’s lawsuit alleges that Deen and Bubba Hier committed numerous acts of violence, discrimination and racism that resulted in the end of her five-year tenure at Deen’s Lady & Sons and Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House eateries in Savannah.
When Dean was questioned under oath for a deposition, she was asked whether she had used the “N-word.” Deen answered that she had probably used the racial slur when talking to her husband about “when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head.”
Asked whether she had used the word since, she responded, “I’m sure I have, but it’s been a very long time.”
On Thursday, Target said it would discontinue her products. Home Depot announced it had stopped selling Deen’s kitchen and cookware line. And diabetes drug company Novo Nordisk suspended its relationship with Deen. Several others, including Walmart and the food network, also have called it quits in recent days.