Paula Deen, the celebrity chef who’s fending off a public relations disaster that finds her guilty of racism, now has a couple staunch defenders coming forward — her two sons.
“Neither one of our parents ever taught us to be bigoted toward any other person for any reason,” said Bobby Deen, in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “Our mother is one of the most compassionate, good-hearted, empathetic people that you’d ever meet. These accusations are hurtful to her, and it’s very sad.”
Ms. Deen, who’s involved in a racism suit against two of her restaurants, admitted using the “N-word” years ago, court documents revealed. But her sons — celebrity chefs with their own television shows — say the plaintiff is only trying to skim from the family’s bank accounts.
Bobby Deen said he was “disgusted by the entire thing, because it began as extortion, and it has become character assassination,” CNN reported.
Brother Jamie Deen said, “It’s ridiculous, completely absurd to think there is an environment of racism in our business, and it’s really disrespectful to the people that we work with. We have strong, educated men and women of character that have been with us for five, 10, 15, 20 years. To think they would allow themselves to be in this position is simply baloney.”
Jamie Deen also explained how his parents used to tell of the story of Hank Aaron, and how the baseball legend had to overcome much racism to rise to star level.
Ms. Deen’s career ventures have taken a big hit in the last couple days. The Food Network dropped her show, and Smithfield Foods dropped her as a sponsor.