SEARCH

Entries in Paula Deen (7)

Friday
Jul052013

NY Man Arrested in Paula Deen Extortion Plot

Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC(NEW YORK) -- A New York man who allegedly tried to extort a $250,000 from former Food Network star Paula Deen was arrested today by federal authorities.

Thomas George Paculis, 62, of Newfield, N.Y., was arrested this morning on an extortion charges, according to a news release from the FBI.

Paculis threatened to disclose "true and damning" statements made by Deen to the media unless the celebrity chef paid him $250,000, according to a federal complaint.

The FBI said it was notified by Deen's attorney after an email and follow-up phone call were sent to her office threatening to expose information that would "bring hardship and financial ruin" to Deen if it was released.

Paculis is a former resident of Georgia, where Deen lives and has a restaurant.

A call to Deen's representative was not immediately returned.

Paculis did not answer a call to a cell phone number believed to be connected to him.

Paculis was scheduled to appear in federal court in Savannah, Ga., on July 16, according to the FBI.

Deen has faced criticism in the past few weeks after a lawsuit deposition in which the celebrity chef admitted to using racial slurs.

The self-proclaimed queen of southern cooking and her brother are being sued for racial and sexual discrimination by Lisa Jackson, who worked as a manager of their Savannah, Ga., restaurant. During a deposition in May, Jackson's lawyer asked Deen whether she'd ever used the n-word. She said she had.

Deen became one of the Food Network's top stars after she landed her first show, Paula's Home Cooking, in 2002.

On June 21, The Food Network announced it would not renew Deen's contract at the end of the month.

Since then, a slew of businesses have severed ties with Deen, including Target and Walmart, along with her book publisher, Ballantine.

In a video apology last month, Deen asked for forgiveness.

"I want to learn and grow from this," she said. "Inappropriate and hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable.

"I've made plenty of mistakes along the way," she added, "but I beg you, my children, my team, my fans, my partners, I beg for your forgiveness. Please forgive me for the mistakes that I have made."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jun302013

12 Companies That Have Cut Ties With Paula Deen 

Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It appears that there is little that remains of Paula Deen's crumbling empire in wake of criticism surrounding the controversy in which the celebrity chef admitted to using racial slurs.

Random House's Ballantine Books joined the ranks of the Food Network, Smithfield, Wal-Mart, and a bevy of other companies in ceasing its relationship with the self-proclaimed queen of butter.

The publisher released a statement on Friday, saying it would not release Deen's forthcoming cookbook, Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Recipes: All Lightened Up as well as four other cookbooks the chef had been contracted to write, despite a lucrative presale.

The Southern chef, 66, and her brother are being sued for racial and sexual discrimination by Lisa Jackson, who worked as a manager of their Savannah, Ga., restaurant. During a deposition in May, Jackson's lawyer asked Deen whether she'd ever used the N-word. She said she had.

But in a statement to ABC News, Paula Deen Enterprises said the chef was "speaking largely about a time in American history which was quite different than today."

Ballantine is the 12th company to cut ties with the southern chef.

The Food Network
While Deen's folksy charm was on full display on her successful cooking show, Paula's Best Dishes, the channel that catapulted the chef to fame was the first to end its relationship with her once she fell under scrutiny for admitting to have used racial slurs.

"Food Network will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month," a spokesperson told ABC News on June 21.

Food Network's decision might have sparked a fire under other brands with longstanding ties to Deen, who had made her mark on the channel on her first show, Paula's Home Cooking in 2002.

Smithfield
Deen was dropped by the global pork producing company following a maelstrom of criticism directed at the chef in wake of the scandal.

"Smithfield condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind. Therefore, we are terminating our partnership with Paula Deen," the company based in Smithfield, Va., said in a statement on June 24. "Smithfield is determined to be an ethical food industry leader and it is important that our values and those of our spokespeople are properly aligned."

The Smithfield deal, in which Deen served as a spokeswoman for the brand, including her own line of hams, since 2006, will likely cost her $1 million to $2 million in profit loss, Forbes wealth reported Caleb Melby told ABCNews.com.

Wal-Mart, Target and Home Depot
Retail giant Wal-Mart ended its relationship with Deen and said Wednesday it would not place "any new orders beyond what's already committed," a Wal-Mart spokesperson told ABC News.

Following Deen's tearful appearance on the Today show, Target Corp. also announced Thursday it would no longer be working with Deen.

"We have made a decision to phase out the Paula Deen merchandise in our stores as well as on Target.com. Once the merchandise is sold out, we will not be replenishing inventory," a spokesperson for Target told ABC News Radio.

According to US Weekly, Home Depot said Wednesday that it would stop carrying Paula Deen products in its kitchen and cookware departments.

Novo Nordisk
Deen's announcement that she had Type 2 Diabetes came as a shock to many, but when she took the role of spokeswoman for global pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk and its diabetes drug, Victoza, she upped the ante -- and her earnings -- by a cool $6 million, according to Forbes.

But in the wake of the southern chef's fall from grace, the Diabetes drug maker released a statement saying that it and Deen had "mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now, while she takes time to focus her attention where it is needed."

Caesars Entertainment
Caesars Entertainment Corp. joined the ranks of other enterprises when it said Wednesday it had "mutually decided" with Deen to remove her name from its restaurants and plans to re-brand those restaurants in the near future.

"While we appreciate Paula's sincere apologies for statements she made in her past that she recently disclosed during a deposition given in response to a lawsuit, after thoughtful consideration of their impact, we have mutually decided that it is in the best interests of both parties to part ways at this time," a representative for Caesars Entertainment told ABC News Radio.

QVC
The home shopping network took what may be perceived as a more forgiving approach with Deen and announced it "decided to take a pause" from the southern chef.

While QVC would phase out her products from its online sales channels over the next few months, the network didn't shut the door on working with Deen forever.

"Some of you may wonder whether this is a 'forever' decision -- whether we are simply ending our association with Paula. We don't think that's how relationships work," QVC President and CEO Mike George said in a letter to customers on Thursday. "People deserve second chances. And we always strive to do the right thing."

Deen led the charge on the announcement that she and QVC would be parting ways.

"As you know, I have some important things to work on right now, both personally and professionally. And so we've agreed that it's best for me to step back from QVC and focus on setting things right," she said. "I am truly sorry and assure you I will work hard to earn your forgiveness."

J.C. Penney, Sears and Walgreens
J.C. Penney Co., Sears Holdings Corp., and Walgreens were the latest corporations to jump on the bandwagon and nullify relations with Deen.

Walgreens announced that it would be phasing out its Deen-branded products as well, which include tortilla chips and a selection of soups.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar062012

Paula Deen Sued by Former Employee of Georgia Restaurant

Serg Alexander/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Paula Deen and her brother have been sued by a woman who claims she was sexually harassed when she worked at a Georgia restaurant they own, according to TMZ.com.

Lisa Jackson, a former general manager of Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah, claims the celebrity chef's brother, Bubba Hiers, viewed Internet pornography at the restaurant, made sexually charged comments to her and other staff members, and kissed and spat at her.

She further claims that Hiers made racist jokes and used the "N" word.

Jackson, who was general manager of the restaurant from 2005 to 2010, seeks unspecified damages.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan262012

Paula Deen Caught Eating a Cheeseburger

Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Last week, TV chef Paula Deen announced that she’s been suffering from type 2 diabetes for the past three years.  She acknowledged that a person has, “to make changes in your life” but apparently, Deen hasn’t apparently changed all that much.

TMZ posted a photo of Deen wolfing down a cheeseburger on Monday while on a seven-day Caribbean cruise.  The 65-year-old chef was hosting her annual Party at Sea vacation for 400 fans.  TMZ says Deen also had fries on her plate.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan182012

Paula Deen's Diabetes Announcement Mocked by Fellow TV Chef

Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Paula Deen's announcement on Tuesday that she suffers from type 2 diabetes and is endorsing a diabetes drug has struck a nerve with another TV chef, Anthony Bourdain.

In a tweet published Tuesday, the host of the Travel Channel's No Reservations wrote, "Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later."

Bourdain has called out Deen in the past for her high-calorie recipes.  In a 2011 issue of TV Guide, Bourdain called Deen “the worst, most dangerous person to America.”

Deen addresses the criticism that she's profiting from her diagnosis on an episode of ABC's The Chew airing Wednesday.  In her appearance -- taped Tuesday -- she says, "I am in a position that we are going to set aside a certain percentage and we're donating that back."

Deen shares her story of living with diabetes and offers recipes for diabetes-friendly foods on the website DiabetesInANewLight.com.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan172012

Paula Deen Confirms She Has Diabetes

Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Television chef Paula Deen has confirmed to USA Today that she has type 2 diabetes. Deen, who has made a career out of whipping up high-fat, high-sugar down-home Southern cooking, tells USA Today she found out she had the disease three years ago.

“I made the choice at the time to keep it close to me, to keep it close to my chest.  I felt like I had nothing to offer anybody other than the announcement. I wasn’t armed with enough knowledge. I knew when it was time it would be in God’s time,” she said.

Deen was set to announce Tuesday her role in a new campaign, Diabetes in a New Light, in partnership with Novo Nordisk, which produces diabetes medications.

The TV chef says she has no plans to change the focus of her cooking shows because of the disease, explaining, “I suspect I’ll stick to my roots but will say a little louder, ‘Eat this in moderation.’”

Deen says she knows she’ll be facing criticism for a career that focused on high-fat foods, adding, “If they make jokes about me, I’ll laugh because they’ll probably be funny.”

Chef and cooking personality Anthony Bourdain recently flamed Deen as the, "most dangerous person in America" for plying her fatty foods on an already obese nation. Upon hearing the news about Deen's condition, Bourdain told the website Eater.com, "When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you've been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you've got type 2 diabetes, it's bad taste if nothing else."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct122011

Paula Deen Says Michelle Obama Can Really Eat 

Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When celebrity chef Paula Deen met with Michelle Obama, she was surprised at just how much food the first lady could put away.

Mrs. Obama has become a driving force in preaching healthy eating for others, but according to the newspaper, Deen recalls, she packed away anything but healthy food -- both on the air and during the commercials. “She probably ate more than any other guest I've ever had on the show!" said Deen, sometimes called the "Queen of Butter" for her decidedly non-dietetic fare.

According to the Food Network star, after complimenting Michelle on her slim figure, she showed her how to fry shrimp for a TV show in September 2008, just ahead the presidential election, reports The Daily Mail.

On the Obama family, Paula remarked, "You know what their favorite foods are? It's hot wings, you know, those kinds of foods that are not necessarily top-of-the-list healthy foods, so she's no different than the rest of us.”

The comments came in an interview that Deen, known for her love of traditionally fattening down-home  cooking, gave to promote her latest book Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio