Paula Deen sheds 'tears of joy,' gets standing ovation at first public appearance since scandal

The disgraced television personality was moved to tears by the audience at a Texas cooking show over the weekend.
Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   Sept. 15, 2013 at 7:51 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Paula Deen has kept to herself since the racism scandal that lost her a string of endorsements and her hosting job at the Food Network. But in her first public appearance since late June, the 66-year-old received a standing ovation at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertainment Show in Houston on Saturday.

"These are tears of joy, y'all," Deen said, visibly moved by the supportive crowd. "I've said all along that the one place I'd want to make my first step back out is Texas. Y'all's hearts are as big as your state."

"I'm sure you know, unless you're living under a rock, the last few months have been difficult," she added. "It was an opportunity to learn. I learned a lot about my self and my business. I just want to thank y'all from bottom of my heart."

Deen's career hit rock bottom a few months ago after the popular Southern foodie admitted to using racial slurs in a deposition for a discrimination and harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee. The employee settled with Deen after a judge ruled that she had no right to sue for racial discrimination because she was white.

Deen also admitted to planning a party in which black waiters would have been dressed as slaves.

Despite the controversy, Deen still have plenty of fans who paid up to $400 to attend the cooking demonstration.

"I'm hoping she comes back. I'm hoping she gets another TV show, more books," one supporter told CNN on Saturday.

Follow @KateStan and @UPI on Twitter.
Contact the Author
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Why the fake braces trend may be dangerous for users
Jared Leto 'stopped eating' for his 'Dallas Buyer's Club' role
Gisele Bundchen, Tom Brady drop $14M on Manhattan home
Kelly LeBrock arrested for DUI
Brandi Brandt faces drug charges in Australia
Trending News