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Paula Deen: 'I'm Back'

Giulia Sagramoso |
September 18, 2013 | 9:20 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

 Paula Deen looks very different in her first appearance after 'n-word' scandal (Arizona News/YouTube)
Paula Deen looks very different in her first appearance after 'n-word' scandal (Arizona News/YouTube)
A thinner, fresh-faced Paula Deen made her first public appearance in three months on Saturday. The Southern style chef from Georgia got a standing ovation from an enthusiastic crowd of fans at the Metro Cooking and Entertaining show in Houston, Texas.

It was an emotional day for her, and she even shed a few tears of joy before joining her two sons for some cooking demonstrations. Deen seemed extremely grateful to her loyal followers and thanked them for their continuous support. The chef reflected on what she had been through in the last few months, saying "we all experience pain in some way but pain is also a good thing because it makes you grow."

This was Deen’s first appearance since she was involved in a racism and sexual harassment lawsuit this summer that virtually destroyed her career as a celebrity chef and businesswoman.

After admitting to using the “n-word,” the Food Network quickly dropped her shows, Paula’s Home Cooking and Paula’s Best Dishes.

READ: Food Network Cancels Paula Deen's Contract

Deen also lost most of her endorsement deals, including Smithfield Hams and Wal-Mart. She also lost her five-book deal with Ballantine Books. Deen had a series of successful cookbooks and owns a restaurant with her sons, The Lady and Sons, in Savannah, Georgia. Deen has lost approximately $12.5 million annually according to the New York Daily News

The Metro Cooking and Entertaining Show in Houston offered a wide range of shows with celebrity chefs, the most famous being Deen and her two sons. The show took place over two days and now occurs every year in Houston, Washington D.C, and Dallas. Some loyal fans paid as much as $400 for VIP tickets to see Deen’s show and to get a picture with the famous chef. Even non-VIP tickets were not cheap, starting at $103. 

The sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against Deen and her brother was dismissed. Both sides reached a settlement, in which there was no award of cost or fees to either side, after a federal judge threw out the last part of the lawsuit against her ruling that the plaintiff, Lisa Jackson, was not the target of any bias. Paula Deen and her brother Earl 'Bubba' Hiers were sued by a former employee, Lisa Jackson. Jackson claimed she was being sexually harassed and racially discriminated against. 

After her warm welcome in Texas last Saturday, it seems that Deen is ready to make her comeback. At the end of her cooking presentation she approached a cameraman and smiled at the camera saying, “I’m back!”

Reach Staff Reporter Giulia Sagramoso here.



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