Paula Deen Cookbook Junked by Random House Despite Demand

Monday, 01 Jul 2013 01:37 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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The fallout from the Paula Deen N-word scandal continues as the celebrity chef's publisher Random House announced it was junking the upcoming publication of her cookbook despite the fact that it is No. 1 in Amazon.com preorders.

Preorders boosted "Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up" to the No. 1 spot but Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, said on Friday it would not be publishing the cookbook in October, as previously scheduled.

"After careful consideration, Ballantine Books has made the difficult decision to cancel the publication of 'Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up,'" the publisher said in a statement Friday.

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Deen has published 14 cookbooks, starting in 1998 with "The Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook." Together, they have sold more than 8 million copies, according to The New York Times.

Deen's empire crumbled around her after the 66-year-old admitted in a lawsuit deposition filed at the end of last month 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.

"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."

Since then, the Food Network, Smithfield Foods, Walmart, Target, Caesars Entertainment, QVC, and the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk have all either suspended their professional relationships or cut ties with Deen altogether.

Experts say Deen's career is unlikely to recover from the controversy.

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"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."

Related stories:

Jimmy Carter: Public Should Forgive Paula Deen

Paula Deen's 'Today' Appearance Ends in Tears

Diabetes Drug Maker Novo Nordisk Latest To Dump Paula Deen

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