Television chef Paula Deen, who lost her gig Friday with the Food Network after admitting and apologizing for having used racial epithets, including the “N-word,” is a supporter of President Barack Obama and campaigned on his behalf in 2008.
The Southern-bred television personality also invited Michelle Obama onto one of her television programs and praised the first lady’s healthy eating agenda.
Deen, who has previously faced criticism for using excessive quantities of fat and salt in her dishes, is under fire after it was revealed in a lawsuit that she admitted using the N-word and other racial slurs in front of her employees.
Deen is also accused of sexual harassment, and was found in contempt of court for refusing to turn over a video in which she allegedly simulates a sex act on a chocolate eclair.
Deen is being sued for $1.2 million by Lisa Jackson, who managed Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House in Savannah, Ga., for Paula Deen Enterprises. Jackson also alleges that Deen wanted to hire African-Americans to dress up in costumes and work at her brother’s wedding.
“What I would really like is a bunch of little [N-word] to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties. Now that would be a true Southern wedding, wouldn’t it?,” Deen allegedly said, according to Jackson.
Deen apologized profusely in multiple videos “for the wrong that I’ve done.”
“Food Network will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of this month,” said a network spokesperson.
The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.
CORRECTION: The first version of this article incorrectly stated Deen allegedly called President Obama the “N-word” in front of her employees, when, in fact, the lawsuit states her brother Bubba Hiers is the one accused of using the epithet to describe Obama.