Paula Deen dropped as Smithfield Foods spokeswoman
NEW YORK - Paula Deen lost another part of her empire on Monday: Smithfield Foods said it was dropping her as a spokeswoman.
The announcement came days after the Food Network said it would not renew the celebrity cook's contract in the wake of revelations that she used racial slurs in the past.
Smithfield sold Paula Deen-branded hams in addition to using her as a spokeswoman. In a statement, the company said it "condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind. Therefore, we are terminating our partnership with Paula Deen."
The rapid downfall came after revelations that 66-year-old Food Network star admitted using racial slurs in the past in a deposition in a discrimination lawsuit. Deen was asked under oath if she had ever used the N-word. "Yes, of course," Deen said, though she added, "It's been a very long time."
Deen insisted she and her family do not tolerate prejudice, and in a videotaped apology, she asked fans and critics for forgiveness.
Earlier Monday, NBC's Matt Lauer said Deen would appear Wednesday on "Today." Last week she abruptly canceled on the morning show before posting her videotaped apologies.