Target, Novo Nordisk, part ways with Paula Deen

June 27, 2013 at 4:08 PM
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NEW YORK, June 27 (UPI) -- Target and Novo Nordisk said they are dropping their affiliation with U.S. celebrity chef Paula Deen following her admission she once used racist language.

Deen -- who said in a deposition she once use the N-word and planned a wedding using a slavery motif -- had already lost her show on the Food Network and an endorsement deal with Smithfield Foods, when Walmart and Caesars Enterprises said Wednesday they were ending their relationship with her.

Home Depot said Wednesday it would drop Deen-branded cookware, Forbes reported.

A Target spokesman told Fox News Thursday the company has "made a decision to phase out the Paula Deen merchandise in our stores as well as on"

"Once the merchandise is sold out, we will not be replenishing inventory," the spokesman said.

Danish diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk said in a statement Thursday the company and Deen "have mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now while she takes time to focus her attention where it is needed."

A Novo Nordisk spokesman said it was unclear whether a working relationship with Deen would resume, the Los Angeles Times reported.

QVC said it is still "monitoring these events and the ongoing litigation" but there were "no immediate plans for Deen to appear on the home shopping cable channel, Fox News reported.

An annual "Paula Deen Cruise" has booked so many reservations it is adding an extra departure in 2014, the report said.

Deen is still booked to appear at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show in Houston and Dallas in September and in Washington in November.

Deen's upcoming book, "Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up" -- scheduled for an October publication date -- was No. 1 Thursday on the best-seller list, Slate reported.

Deen said on NBC's "Today" show Wednesday she used the N-word just once in her life, when a black man pointed a gun at her during a bank robbery in 1987.

She said in a police report on the incident the man "never took the gun out of my face," the TV show "Inside Edition" reported Wednesday.

Deen, 66, is being sued for $1.2 million by a former employee who alleged Deen created a hostile work environment by using racist language.

Deen denied on NBC she is a racist, said she believes all people should be treated equally.

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