Update:Paula Deen Dropped By Caesars Entertainment, Loses Four Casino Buffets! Paula Deen was in tears during a “Today” show interview today (Wednesday) with respect to her admission that she used a racial slur in the past.
UPDATE via Huffington Post:
Paula Deen’s partnership with Caesars Entertainment is officially the latest casualty of the Southern chef’s ongoing racism scandal, which resulted in her firing from Food Network.
USA Today writes that, according to a Caesars Entertainment statement, the company has “reached an agreement with Paula Deen Enterprises not to renew the business relationship.” Memphis Commercial Appeal has more of the statement, which states that although the company “appreciate[s] Paula’s sincere apologies,” the move is “in the best interests of both parties.”
Caesars operates four Paula Deen Buffet properties in the following casinos: Horseshoe Southern Indiana, outside of Louisville; Harrah’s Tunica, near Memphis; Harrah’s Joliet, near Chicago; and Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina. The buffets will be rebranded in the coming months.
Deen insist that she is not racist and was heartbroken by the controversy that began with her own deposition in a lawsuit. Deen has been dropped by the Food Network and as a celebrity endorser by Smithfield Foods. “I’ve had to hold friends in my arms while they’ve sobbed because they know what’s been said about me is not true and I’m having to comfort them,” she said.
Deen says she could only recall using the “n-word” once.
According to CNN:
The accusations against Deen stem from a lawsuit filed by a former manager of Deen’s restaurants in Savannah, Georgia. Lisa T. Jackson’s lawsuit alleges that Deen and her brother, Bubba Hier, committed numerous acts of violence, discrimination and racism that resulted in the end of Jackson’s five-year tenure at Deen’s Lady & Sons and Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House eateries in Savannah. Deen rejects the allegations.
“I believe that every creature on this Earth, every one of God’s creatures, was created equal,” she told NBC’s “Today” show. “… I believe that everyone ought to be treated equal.”
“There’s someone evil out there that saw what I had worked for and they wanted it,” Deen told NBC on Wednesday, without naming anyone.
AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer