A Timeline of Paula Deen's Downfall
It's been a rough few weeks for Paula Deen — and the bad news keeps on coming. To help you keep track with the latest Deen controversy, use our handy timeline below.
TV stars who were fired
Friday, May 17: Deen gives a deposition in a $1.2 million discrimination lawsuit filed against Deen and her brother, Earl "Bubba" Hiers, by one of her former restaurant managers, Lisa Jackson.
Wednesday, June 19: The National Enquirer releases details about Deen's deposition. Deen allegedly confesses to using the N-word several times and once wanting black waiters to play the role of a slaves in a wedding party she was planning. Deen admits to using the racial slur when she was held at gunpoint by a black man during a bank robbery in 1986, but denies to using it frequently.
Thursday, June 20: The full unedited transcript of Deen's deposition is leaked, featuring several strange admissions by the cook. When the general manager was fired for having sexual relationships with underage servers, Deen told her brother she wouldn't have her empire destroyed by "a piece of p---y." However, Deen says she doesn't think there's anything wrong with her brother watching porn at work and showing it to employees. Deen also admits that she doesn't think the N-word is offensive if said in a non-mean way, such as when repeating what "black people" say in the kitchen or as a joke.
Cult shows that deserve a movie
Friday, June 21: Deen cancels a scheduled appearance on the Today show to discuss the reports. Deen releases a video apology that goes viral. The original video is taken down and an edited version appears, in which Deen says she was "physically not able" to show up for her interview with Matt Lauer. Hours later, The Food Network announces it will not renew Deen's contract when it expires. Their decision does not affect the two shows starring Deen's children, Not My Mama's Meals with Bobby Deen on the Cooking Channel and Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen on Food Network.
Saturday, June 22: Deen thanks the Food Network after getting fired. "I have had the pleasure of being allowed into so many homes across the country and meeting people who have shared with me the most touching and personal stories. This would not have been possible without the Food Network. Thank you again. Love and best dishes to all of ya'll," Deen says.
Sunday, June 23: QVC announces it is "reviewing our business relationship" with Deen, but doesn't give her the pink slip just yet.
Monday, June 24: Smithfield, a company that specializes in pork products, terminates its partnership with Deen who has a line of hams with them.
The 10 most-anticipated new comedies
Tuesday, June 25: Deen's sons Bobby and Jamie defend their mother, saying she's merely a victim of "character assassination." "Neither one of our parents ever taught us to be bigoted toward any other person for any reason," Bobby says. "Our mother is one of the most compassionate, good-hearted, empathetic people that you'd ever meet. These accusations are very hurtful to her, and it's very sad... I'm disgusted by the entire thing."
Wednesday, June 26: Deen makes her rescheduled appearance on the Today show, where she tells Matt Lauer that she doesn't know if the N-word is offensive. Deen blames her confusion on "these young people" who need to "start showing respect for each other and not throwing that word at each other." After the appearance, Wal-Mart and Caesars Entertainment end their relationships with Deen. Later, it's revealed that Deen has hired the D.C. crisis firm led by CEO Judy Smith, the inspiration for Kerry Washington's character Olivia Pope on ABC's Scandal.
Thursday, June 27: Diabetes drug company Novo Nordisk, for which Deen acts as a spokeswoman, cuts ties with the chef. Target and Home Depot also sever their relationship with Deen. Despite the scandal, Deen's latest cookbook, Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up hits No. 1 on Amazon.com, even though it's not scheduled to be released until October.
Friday, June 28: Sears Holdings Corp., which owns Sears and Kmart both of which carry Paula Deen products, announces that it is cutting ties with Deen and will phase out all products tied to the brand after "careful consideration of all available information. " The company will "continue to evaluate the situation." Walgreens, which owns Duane Reade and Drugstore.com, confirms that it's phasing out its Paula Deen products as well. Despite impressive pre-sales for her new book, Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up, which remains No. 1 on Amazon, Ballantine Books announces late Friday that it has canceled the book's publication.
Monday, July 1: Deen cites the Supreme Court's Proposition 8 ruling in an attempt to get the lawsuit against her dismissed. In the ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts noted that in order for a person to sue, they must have "suffered a concrete and particularized injury that is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct." Deen's camp interprets this to mean that since the plaintiff, Lisa Jackson, is white, she doesn't have standing to sue since she didn't suffer personally from the chef's racial discrimination.
Tuesday, July 2: Jackson releases a statement, saying that the suit "has never been about the N-word. It is to address Ms. Deen's patterns of disrespect and degradation of people that she deems to be inferior."
Friday, July 5: A rep announces that Deen is parting ways with her agent of over 10 years.
Thursday, July 11: Deen parts ways with her legal team, opting to hire Grace Speights and Patricia Glaser to handle her legal problems.
Monday, Aug. 12: The racial discrimination lawsuit filed against Deen and Hiers by Jackson is dismissed in court by U.S. District judge William T. Moore Jr.