Paula Deen Parts Ways With Longtime Agent Following Racial Slur Scandal
Paula Deen has cut ties with her agent of more than a decade, Barry Weiner. The split came hot on the heels of the controversy boiling over the celebrity chef's admission to using N-word in the past that snowballed into her losing multiple endorsements and deals.
"Paula Deen has separated from her agent," her representative tells the Associated Press. "She and her family thank him for the tireless effort and dedication over the many years." Blaming no one for the racial slur fallout, the rep adds, "Paula wishes him well in all future endeavors."
In her 2006 book titled "It Ain't All About the Cookin", Deen once credited Weiner for helping her land a show on Food Network. The queen of Southern cooking wrote, "Barry is affectionately known in my family as Barry Cuda. Perfect name for an agent."
Deen admitted in a court deposition to using racial slur. She and her brother Earl "Bubba" Hiers were sued by former employee Lisa Jackson who claimed she was subjected to hostile environment rife with innuendo and racial slurs while working in their restaurant.
"This lawsuit has never been about the N-word," Jackson said after her former employer was scrutinized over her past use of the racial remarks. "It is to address Ms. Deen's patterns of disrespect and degredation of people that she deems to be inferior."
Backlashes were flooding Deen's way as soon as transcript of the court deposition leaked on the Internet. The first to severe their relationship with Deen after the N-word controversy was Food Network which aired her TV shows including "Paula's Best Dishes".
Caesars Entertainment and Smithfield Foods followed suit before pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk fired her as their brand ambassador. Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreen, Home Depot, J.C. Penney Co. and Sears Holdings and home-shopping channel QVC did the same.
Deen also lost multiple-book deal with Ballantine, an imprint of Random House Inc., despite the fact that her upcoming book "Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up" already became best seller on some purchasing websites.
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