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Ballantine won't publish Paula Deen's next cookbook

June 29, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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NEW YORK, June 29 (UPI) -- Ballantine Books is the latest business concern to call off a deal with U.S. celebrity chef Paula Deen over her past use of racist language.

Deen's next cookbook -- "Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up" -- was set to be out in October, but Ballantine, the book's publisher, said it will no longer release it, TMZ reported.

After Deen acknowledged in a deposition she had used racist language, several high profile sponsors dropped their affiliation with her -- including Target, J.C. Penney, Sears, Home Depot, Kmart, Walmart, Walgreens and pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. But Deen fans flooded Amazon.com with pre-orders for the book, sending it to the top of the website's best-seller list.

Deen, 66, admitted in May in a deposition she used the racist word to describe a black man who had robbed her at gunpoint decades ago. That comment, and her description of a so-called plantation-style wedding she would like to see, sparked a media firestorm.

The cable shopping channel QVC said it would "take a pause" in its dealings with her.

The Food Network, Smithfield Foods, and casino giant Caesar's Entertainment previously have said they would end their partnerships with Deen, who maintains partnerships with Alice Travel, Ladies Candies, Hoffman Media, Random House, Metropolitan Cooking Expo, Springer Mountain Farms and Epicurean Butter.

Former President Jimmy Carter said Deen should be forgiven for a mistake she made long ago, CNN reported.

"I think she has been punished, perhaps overly severely, for her honesty in admitting it and for the use of the word in the distant past. She's apologized profusely," he said.

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