Target Drops Deen as Her New Book Tops Amazon Best Sellers List

As another business distances itself from the embattled cook, sales of her upcoming recipe collection skyrocket

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Paula Deen

    As diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk and retailer Target become the latest companies to distance themselves from Paula Deen, her recipes are still number one y'all.

    Fans have ensured the embattled chef's upcoming book, “Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up,” is already a best seller.

    The tome has reached the number one spot on Amazon's best sellers list and is currently second on Barnes & Noble's Top 100 list. Huge interest for a book that's not scheduled to be released until October 15.

    Such support comes at a time when Deen's cooking empire is being rocked by an exodus of business partners over the scandal that has erupted concerning the celebrity cook's past use of racial slurs.

    Paula Deen Apologizes

    [NY] Paula Deen Apologizes
    Embattled Food Network star Paula Deen released a video statement addressing her past use of racial slurs, which overnight became a national scandal. In the clip, Deen appears visibly upset and at times close to tears. "I beg for your forgiveness.... please forgive me for the mistakes that I've made," she said.

    "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," read the statement from a Target spokesperson on Thursday.

    "Novo Nordisk and Paula Deen have mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now, while she takes time to focus her attention where it is needed,'' the drug company said in their statement. "Novo Nordisk would like to acknowledge Paula’s involvement in our 'Diabetes in a New Light' campaign, where she has helped make many people aware of type 2 diabetes and the lifestyle changes needed to control this serious disease."

    Deen, who has Type 2 diabetes, had been a spokesperson for Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug Victoza.

    Deen's public image came under fire in 2012 when it was revealed that she had diabetes for three years while continuing to promote high-fat, high-sugar recipes in her televised appearances and cookbooks. The information regarding her health was only made public at the same time it was announced she would become the celebrity face of Victoza.

    Paula Deen's Second Apology

    [NY] Paula Deen's Second Apology
    In a 46-second video posted on YouTube, Paula Deen offered up an apology for using "inappropriate, hurtful language." In this second video, Deen apologized for failing to show up for a scheduled interview on "Today" Friday to discuss her admission that she's used racial slurs in the past.

    Deen's latest scandal began when it was revealed during a May 17 deposition that she had used racial epithets - particularly the N-word - in the past. The deposition is part of a $1.2 million lawsuit filed by Lisa Jackson, a former manager of Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah. Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers own the restaurant.

    In the lawsuit Jackson claims she was sexually harassed by Hiers and that Deen used the N-word around her.

    Deen tearfully took to NBC's "Today" show Wednesday for the first time to talk about the scandal. She said she is “somewhat in a state of shock” over what were “hurtful lies said about me.”

    Asked by host Matt Lauer whether she was a racist, Deen said, "No, I'm not."

    The Food Network, where Deen had been a high-profile fixture with her show "Paula's Home Cooking," was the first of her business partners to cut ties Friday following an initial "Today" no-show and the release online of erratic videos in which she begs fans for forgiveness.

    Smithfield Foods, Wal-mart, Home Depot and Caesars Entertainment all followed in Food Network's wake. Home shopping giant QVC has stated they are monitoring the situation as it unfolds.

    Ahead of the soaring advance book sales, Deen's publishing company issued a statement regarding the controversy. "We are monitoring the situation closely," Stuart Applebaum, spokesman for Random House said. "At present, the book remains on course for its fall publication."