SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Food Network fired Paula Deen, barely an hour after the celebrity cook posted a videotaped apology online begging forgiveness from fans and critics troubled by her admission to having used racial slurs in the past.
The 66-year-old Savannah kitchen celebrity has been swamped in controversy since court documents filed this week revealed Deen told an attorney questioning her under oath last month that she has used the N-word. “Yes, of course,” Deen said, though she added, “It’s been a very long time.”
The Food Network, which made Deen a star with “Paula’s Home Cooking” in 2002 and later “Paula’s Home Cooking” in 2008, weighed in with a terse statement Friday afternoon.
“Food Network will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of this month,” the statement said. The news came as Deen worked to repair the damage to her image, which has spawned a vast empire of cookbooks, a magazine, a full line of cookware, food items like spices and even furniture.
She abruptly canceled an interview on NBC’s “Today” show Friday, instead opting for a direct appeal via online video — one that allowed her and her staff complete control of what she said and how she said it. “Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable,” Deen said in the 45-second video posted on YouTube. “I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way but I beg you, my children, my team, my fans, my partners — I beg for your forgiveness.”
Duvall checks out real courtroom action
Actor Robert Duvall is one of the spectators at the racketeering trial of reputed gangster James “Whitey” Bulger. Duvall, who sat in the back of the Boston courtroom Friday, has been shooting a movie, “The Judge,” in Shelburne, Mass., this month. Duvall plays the title character in the film, which also stars Robert Downey Jr., Billy Bob Thornton and Vincent D’Onofrio. Duvall had starring roles in “The Godfather” and “The Godfather: Part II,” in which he played a lawyer and adviser to the Corleone family.
No kidding: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West named their daughter North West, according to their Los Angeles County birth certificate. The baby was born at 5:34 a.m. June 15 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A.