Paula Deen, the disgraced celebrity chef whose bombshell N-word admission last week has marred her career, was dumped by yet another partner Thursday, diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk.
First the Food Network cut ties with her, then Smithfield, Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, and Sears all announced they would no longer sell Paula Deen products. QVC has said it is "taking a pause" in its dealings with Deen, and Random House is "monitoring the situation closely."
Deen, 66, admitted in a lawsuit deposition filed last week to using the N-word before in the past. The suit was brought by a former employee at one of Deen's restaurants who alleged discrimination.
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"Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable," Deen said in a video apology last week. "I've made plenty of mistakes along the way but I beg you, my children, my team, my fans, my partners — I beg for your forgiveness."
On Thursday, Novo Nordisk, which previously said it would stand by Deen, "suspended" its relationship with her. Deen has served as the spokeswoman for the diabetes drug Victoza since January 2012.
"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 company said in a statement.
Deen also tweeted the announcement with a message of thanks to her supporters.
Experts say the controversy is a career-ender for Deen.
"Paula Deen will survive but she will never be whole again," Reputation.com's vice chairman Howard Bragman told USA Today.
"She will never make as much money, she will never have the respect that she once had, there are people that will never be in business with her again."
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