Paula Deen’s ‘comeback’ covers People: ‘I’m fighting to get my name back’


Paula Deen is in the midst of a comeback after Racism-gate 2013. Otherwise known as, “Sure, honey chile, of course I use the n-word sometimes, and I like to see black folk dressed up as antebellum slave-servers.” To recap, in the midst of a civil lawsuit, Paula was deposed and she admitted that she had said and done some racist things. The civil lawsuit (which was later dropped after what I assumed was a payout/settlement) kept going for a while, just long enough to knee-cap Paula’s multi-million dollar empire. She lost endorsement after endorsement and she was largely scorned. So, she went away for about six months. And over the course of the past month, she’s been launching a comeback.

First, Paula signed a contract with a company called Najafi Cos. worth something like $75-100 million. It’s basically a licensing agreement in which her name will go on many, many products. Then she made her first public appearance in months this week, when she once again rode Robert Irvine like a horse. And now she covers the new issue of People Mag:

At her lowest point last summer, Paula Deen struggled to get out of bed.

“When I woke up each morning, it was like my world was crashing down again,” the celebrity chef, 67, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s cover story.

Her multimillion-dollar food empire and personal reputation shattered by Deen’s admission in a 2013 deposition that she had used the N-word a “very long time” ago, the onetime “Queen of Butter” lost her Food Network contract along with most of her endorsement deals.

Nearly nine months later, she is now hoping to reboot her business with a new company funded by a $75 million deal with private investment firm Najafi Companies.

“I’m fighting to get my name back,” says Deen, who adds that weathering the scandal involved facing her “greatest fear.”

“I used to have dreams that I lost everything,” she says. “And when it finally happens, you think, ‘I’m still alive.’ “

[From People]

Well, Paula didn’t really lose EVERYTHING. She lost her Food Network show and most of her endorsements, but she still had her restaurants and she still had her fortune, for the love of God. So, are you okay with Paula’s comeback? I think it was good that she went away for a while, but I think it probably would have been better if she went away for a full year or so. If she wants to attempt a comeback, God bless. I just hope The Food Network isn’t going to give her a show again.


Photos courtesy of, WENN.

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45 Responses to “Paula Deen’s ‘comeback’ covers People: ‘I’m fighting to get my name back’”

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    • smith says:

      Not sure that swigging hooch out of a bottle in front of your live audience and straddling/riding Robert Irvine around the studio is going to help your cause (even if done under the guise of southern charm and those big baby blues).

      Her early shows were fun and bubbly (the food was/is awful but I was watching for entertainment, not for recipes) and her back story was charming, but then either she changed or let the other side of her “personality” out of the bag (well, she is the BAG LADY) and it’s been downhill since then. She curses, is vulgar and sexually suggestive and it’s embarrassing to watch. I don’t begrudge someone their personality but it’s so out-of-context during a cooking demo — it’s particularly depressing when you catch the wide-angle shot and see her two grown sons behind the counter a-stirring and a-smiling, a-stirring and a-smiling.

      I don’t see her ever recapturing the level of success she had. Is it because of the civil suit? Maybe. But I think her shtick is just old and grating.

      If you want to read a hysterical portrait of old “Butter Lips at Sea” check out the Gawker article on the $3K pp Celebrity cruise with Paula and the Gang. There’s one group photo where everyone is posing and smiling at the camera. Paula is in front, bent over with her a** to the heavens and her big old white granny underwear there for all to see.

      I think she’s lost her mind.

      • JudyK says:

        That was so well said. I get so furious reading about her crapola and her new PR to put her back out there that I just explode and have on several sites.

        However, I appreciate someone who is as articulate as you are, as opposed to someone like me who posts out of emotion because of the ignorance of so many people on this subject who think it’s only about the “N” word.

      • jaye says:

        She doesn’t have to get her tv career back, she’s making $75 million dollars for her spokesperson job. Ugh.

  1. JaDeRu says:

    How ironic that the George Stinney story gets a small block off to the side but the butter Queen and her “struggle” gets the cover.

    • Kiddo says:

      Wow, yeah. I wonder if People was transmitting a subliminal message there.

    • MrsB says:

      Indeed. I live in SC, the state where the George Stinney case is going on, so we have heard a good deal about it. It’s heartbreaking and surely deserves more than a small piece of the cover.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I hadn’t heard of his story, so I just looked it up. Wow.

  2. doofus says:

    aw, poor little rich, racist b*tch. life is SO hard for a rich white woman, ain’t it? boo hoo!

    wish she’d go away for good.

    • Liv says:

      Crazy eyes! So creepy. That said, I think everyone should get the opportunity to learn from mistakes and be accepted again, but I can’t help and think she just goes along to save her career. I doubt that she changed her “views”.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I agree, I think it is much too soon. I also don’t like how this situation has been reduced to “just” the n-word “a long time ago”. That short-hand fails to recognize the MASSIVE amount of institutionalized sexism and racism that took place at her restaurants. I say institutionalized, because it was part of their policy to base employees wages and positons on their race and gender. These aren’t just asssertions made by the woman who brought the claim, they were also documented when the companies went under independent review.

  3. Cecilia says:

    How do you decide who gets a 2nd chance & who doesn’t? *scratch scratch*

    • Rice says:

      You stole the words right from my fingers.
      I suppose it depends on three factors:
      1. Appeal of the celebrity to the public (see Kristen Stewart)
      2. Whether there was regret/contrition and whether it was genuine (see Lindsay Lohan)
      3. The nature of the transgression (see Isaiah Washington).

    • Lucinda says:

      For me, it depends on the transgression and its duration. Was it a one time slip or a pattern of behavior. Was it violent behavior or controlling? Kristen Stewart was a one time mistake that wasn’t violent or controlling and she is young. Do I think we should move on? Yes. Also, it was a mistake made between two consenting adults.

      Mel Gibson was both violent and controlling and had a history of bad behavior. Charlie Sheen, Alec Baldwin, etc. I can’t forgive them.

      I think Paula Deen’s behavior absolutely shows a pattern of control over a significant amount of time. I choose not to forgive her because I don’t think she has changed her behavior.

    • Delta Juliet says:

      Agreed. Celebrities have been forgiven by the public for far, far worse.

  4. Elle Kaye says:

    Well, she is racist, sexist, and an all around bigot. If people choose to hire her knowing this, then it is their reputation on the line. Sadly, there are those who see nothing wrong with her behavior.

    • JudyK says:

      You forgot to add her totally inappropriate behavior both at events and on live television–dropping her drawers at events, Robert Irvine incidents, using filthy language, emulating a sex act with an eclair (ICK), oggling and pawing young men on her show–it goes on and on.

      Google to see her at the recent Wine Festival ONCE AGAIN riding on the back of Robert Irvine…it will make your eyes hurt. And who can forget the pharmaceutical company mess.

      She makes me sick.

    • Jenna says:

      Totally and completely right. And ‘fighting to get her name back’ makes it sound like she was unfairly trashed and she is trying to rise about those mean mean people who said such nasty things about her. No, no one took her ‘good name’ away from her, she threw it in the trash herself and them squatted over the can and crapped on it all by her lonesome. She is a racist who thinks it’s just fine and dandy because she says her bigoted garbage ‘without intending it to be actually mean, it’s just a saying/word/etc’. I have to say, if Food Network takes her back, I’m canceling my subscription to their magazine and getting the channel off my screen. Toss in that creepy oversexed granny crap she hollers out all the time, the woman makes my skin crawl.

    • Green Girl says:

      I am curious to see how this will all pan out in the next few months and years, and I really want to see who ends up giving her a show.

  5. Bluebear says:

    She needs to be gone for a LONG time. The fact is, she didn’t say the “N” word, once… a long time ago (in a far off galaxy). Her brother is a huge racist and he was running her restaurants. She admitted that the use of the word was no big deal, that everyone says it *crickets* , that she thought the idea of dressing up black individuals as slaves was quaint, and that she wanted black children dressed as slaves to tap dance for her at this wedding. She said she laughs at racist jokes, because she’s at home with the people who know she isn’t racist so she isn’t being racist by being racist at home. Her home is like free parking!

    I have no tolerance for racist bigots, especially those who act like their racially degrading antics somehow make THEM the victim. This “victim” has hundred dollar bills to blow her nose in while she weeps over her tarnished name.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Agree. It drives me nuts how articles shorten the whole story to “she admitted she said the n word once a long time ago.” There was a lot more to it than that.

  6. QQ says:

    Creepy Doll Looking Racist Old Diabetically Buttery Bitch Please! Team Up with the KKK and Fox News sweetheart

  7. Neelyo says:

    Ugh, her again? She should have been shunned after the diabetes scam. It will always be too soon.

  8. booboolarue says:

    “I’ve learned a lot” but I’m still a racist at heart. GO AWAY!

  9. Sam says:

    Another time People drops the ball. It was never just about one word she said a long time ago. It was about all the EEOC complaints her employees made against her – for stuff like expecting them to be available to cater her private parties and get paid in booze. Also like how the woman who helped her build the business from the ground up hasn’t seen barely a dime from the Paula empire she devoted a giant chunk of her life to. Or the infamous “plantation” wedding she wanted for her brother.

    The media has allowed her to control the conversation and turn this into “Well, golly gee, y’all I just said a bad word once!” People need to call her on all the other crap as well.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      EXACTLY Sam! Let’s not forget the treatment her female employees received (p0rn at work, p0rn in meetings, being told that you won’t be promoted because women can’t be supervisors, etc.)

      • Sam says:

        That too, of course. I was trying to just remember the racist stuff, but let it be said she also appears to be a nasty sexist.

        The thing that bugs me about Paula is that she still sells that “Look at the empire I built, y’all” thing. It’s become very, very clear through this whole mess that Paula had a lot of people working with her, working for her, etc. And those people helped put all the money in her pockets. And those people have routinely been mistreated, thrown under the bus, or other tossed aside. She thinks she did it all by herself, which is so frustrating. The people who helped her the whole way haven’t benefitted nearly as much as she has.

    • JudyK says:

      AMEN AMEN AMEN!!!!!!

  10. Tx_mom says:

    She’s welcome to her tainted name and reputation. She built them herself and can keep them.

  11. dizzylucy says:

    I feel bad for anyone who worked for her and was affected by her crap. Aside from that, she could have stayed away forever for all I cared.

  12. Littles says:

    Wow she really is clueless. Prejudice-type scandals don’t have happy endings. This is 2014, not 1814. See: Mel Gibson. He was ALOT more famous and beloved than the “butter queen” before he was caught red-handed spewing racial hatred. His career/reputation never recovered, and neither will hers. Good riddance to both of them, they got what they deserved. Sit down and enjoy a Southern-fried plate of KARMA b*tch.

  13. Dimebox says:

    Luckily we all have the power to not buy products endorsed by her. I personally will never knowingly put a penny in her pocket.

  14. Delta Juliet says:

    My goodness. That George Stinney story is so sad 🙁

  15. jensies says:

    The Gawker article about her cruise was one of the most perfect things I’ve ever read.

    She comes across as a normal person, who is deeply clueless about wealth and why she got into this mess in the first place. Which seems about right.

  16. ScotiaNov says:

    I bought one of her cookbooks recently. A person does not have to be ‘perfect’ or completely uncontroversial in order for me to enjoy their cooking shows or read their book. I think most of the stuff people are spouting out about her is hearsay and gossip. I think she is the victim of a modern day WITCH HUNT.

    • Kiddo says:

      No, honey. This was a witch hunt:

      Some old treacly-sweet phoney lady being called out on behavior, but keeping all of her privilege and wealth, isn’t remotely close to the definition of a witch hunt. But you have the right to buy what you want to.

      • ScotiaNov says:

        Of course she gets to keep her wealth and money. Who else would?? Was she supposed to give it all away to somebody else? I must be missing something here.

      • Kiddo says:

        She lost nothing. She was called out on things that she actually did, or permitted her brother to do under her charge; she admitted same. A witch hunt is when someone is singled out merely for being different than the majority, having caused no harm, no allegations about them are true or proven to be true, and they are burned at the stake or drowned. So I’d say your description is hyperbolic and histrionically off the mark. Yes, you were missing something.

    • here's Wilson says:

      nicely stated scotianov… we may be in the minority but I do agree… I don’t slight this woman in the least for attempting to recoup her business

  17. joan says:

    She followed the same pattern Emeril did on the Food Network — they got applause for lowbrow humor so they ramped it up, or down, actually, the most lowbrow they could get. And the unwashed masses loved it.

    They got more popular as they pandered to low tastes and ignored discussing cooking. And the Network loved it too. But eventually it gets tiresome and the crowds dwindle.

    Emeril ended up on Top Chef being very soft-spoken, hardly verbal, and regained a little class.

    Paula Deene and the word class will never be found in the same sentence. She’s crude and vulgar and apparently also racist and sexist, since she settled that lawsuit. And she’s resorting to that again. She just doesn’t get it. But her lowbrow, low-class, no-class fans aren’t gone yet. She’ll keep pandering until she says or does something so disgusting that she gets in trouble again.

  18. Gia says:

    Please. It’s 2014. Society shouldn’t waste their time and money making this woman wealthy. She’s from a time in history that is best left forgotten and not glamorized.

  19. joan says:

    She was sued not only for using the N-word and racist behavior, but also for aiding and abetting her nasty brother Bubba who sexually harassed female employees. There was rampant harassment and mistreatment of various kinds, like showing you what porn he was looking at on his computer, and it was a really unpleasant place to work.

    This all gets forgotten except “she used the N-word once.”

  20. Bridget says:

    She lost me at Novo Norodisk.

  21. Green Eggs & Ham says:

    She will be fine.