June 24th, 2013
02:30 PM ET
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Paula Deen has been dropped by a major sponsor, Smithfield Foods, after it came to light last week that she admitted using a racial slur in a lawsuit deposition. The deposition was part of a suit filed by Lisa T. Jackson, a former general manager of one of Deen's Georgia restaurants, for sexual and racial harassment while working for Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers.

The announcement comes as another harsh blow after Food Network announced on Friday that it will not be renewing its contract with the 66-year-old cooking personality Deen, who joined the network in 1999.

Keira Lombardo, the Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications of Smithfield Foods, released this statement to CNN:

Smithfield condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind. Therefore, we are terminating our partnership with Paula Deen. Smithfield is determined to be an ethical food industry leader and it is important that our values and those of our spokespeople are properly aligned.

Deen became a spokesperson for Smithfield Foods, the country's largest producer of pork products, in 2006.

Paula Deen's testimony transcript
Paula Deen issues video apology, is dropped by Food Network
Paula Deen – From the frying pan to the firestorm
Hugh Acheson: Southern food beyond the butter
The cook who picks cotton: reclaiming my roots
How far has Southern food traveled since segregation?

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Filed under: Celebrity Chefs • News • Paula Deen • Video

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  12. abby

    Never again will I watch Food Network, buy a Smithfield ham which I didn't like anway, and boy gosh I sure can give up Target....no problem....I believe in Freedom of Speech...or at the very least not being crucified for saying something 30 years ago and having your whole life ripped away...Oh yeah, why can that word be used in rap lyrics? Why not crucify those rappers who use it...?

    July 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  13. abby

    Freedom of speech? Where did that go? My father, grandfather, uncle and husband all fought for this country and for freedom of speech...My God people...This is America. We do still have the right to speak freely...or do we????
    She is a 66 year old lady of the South.. I do not believe anyone when asked can say they have never said something "wrong". Anyone remember that rhyme we were taught as kids that contains that word? It's scarey what is happening right here under our noses.

    July 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
  14. carol lester

    This is pure ignorance on how this woman is being treated. The comments were made in the past and who hasn't said things they wouldn't dream of saying today. I pray that one day all the race issues will fade away. Sometimes it seems that race issues are held on to and kept alive for some peoples benefit. Paula, hang in there. God will lift you up and who ever started all of this trouble will pay for it in the end.

    June 29, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Shafeeq

      this is a word given to Black by Whites, remember that? black ppl didn't start using to word!!! But Blacks took the word and change the meaning. by the way the lawsuit was made by a white woman who couldn't take Paula's bad mouthing behind close doors. White ppl you guys are hilarious it's best to keep the word to yourself and use it how you use it behind those closed doors, but remember somebody is listening to that shit that looks like you but doesn't feel like you do. I use the word n***a everyday but my intention is not EVIL yours is. Simple Paula crying about the money not because she's sorry

      July 1, 2013 at 9:54 am |
      • Renee

        No it's about a WHITE woman that didn't get what she wanted and saw her opportunity to make ALOT of money off of this and bring Paula down. I doubt very seriously that she was sooo bothered by what she's claiming happened. Easy money because she knew people would be all over this story.

        July 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
  15. OldSchoolHistory

    Actually, the real N-word is "n*zi," which is used to demonize Germanic Whites, especially if they are racially aware. The R-word is an even bigger source of trouble and should not be tolerated.

    White people are in error by trying to defend themselves constantly. Instead, Whites need to seize the initiative (like in any fight) and identify and demonize those who use the N-word and the R-word. Such radical nutcases are openly in control of the society, and they are the source of our problems.

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    June 28, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
  16. mogran

    Bye, bye Smithfield...I will never purchase another Smithfield product...you have miserably failed customers and you should immediately fire the individual responsible for the Paula Deen fiasco...shame on you!

    June 27, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • jimmy allen

      I also will drop my business with all Paula Deens sponsors that have dropped her.Been shopping at Wal- Mart, Home depot, Smithfield products for many years, so bye bye to all that have dropped her , that are scared of bad public relations. Its a complete over kill . Witch Hunt

      June 28, 2013 at 4:36 am |
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