Paula Deen and her sons, Jamie and Bobby (AP)
It's been a bitter few days for Deen, who, in light of a damning deposition, had her Food Network show cancelled, lost her Smithfield Products endorsement deal, blew off Matt Lauer, and put every single money-making partnership in her empire in jeopardy.
Still, all is not lost. In the midst of this PR nightmare, Deen supporters are rising to the surface. And, like the shunned chef, they aren't the type to keep their mouths shut.
As is to be expected, her sons, Jamie and Bobby, were among the first to broadcast their solidarity.
Speaking to Chris Cuomo on CNN's "New Day," Bobby Deen conceded, "Our mother was under oath asked in a deposition to pour over her entire life and to admit whether or not she had ever heard or used this word, and it broke her heart to have to answer truthfully and say, yes, that she had."
He went on to describe the diabetic star as "compassionate, good-hearted," and "empathetic," claiming that he and his brother "were raised … in a house where God lived."
He didn't just defend his mom; however, he attacked her attackers. "These accusations are very hurtful to her and it's very sad," he said. "And, frankly, I'm disgusted by the entire thing because it began as extortion and it has become character assassination."
His brother Jamie also chimed in, describing Deen's accusers as "opportunists."
While we're sure their support comes from the heart, it's worth noting that both sons have more to lose than simply seeing their mother dragged through the media's mud. They each have their own food shows (which, we speculate, wouldn't have happened without Paula's influence), as well as run a restaurant with her called The Lady and Sons.
But it's not only her offspring who are coming to her aid. On his show on Friday, the (notoriously liberal) comedian Bill Maher asked, "If you're 66 years old, and you were raised in Georgia, and you were a child before the civil rights movement, do you get a bit of a pass?" He continued, "I also think that people shouldn't have to lose their shows and go away when they do something bad ... It's just a word; it's a wrong word. She's wrong to use it. But do we always have to make people go away?"
Al Sharpton (Getty Images)
"A lot of us have, in the past, said things we have regretted saying years ago," he admitted. "I think she has a lawsuit now about activities now whether it was discriminatory. And whether or not she's engaged in things now. It's not about her past ... She deserves what's fair, but that's based on what she's engaged in now."
His support is best taken with a grain of salt, however, as his spokeswoman later clarified, "There is more current information that is being divulged that we might need to be concerned about."
In other words, we needn't to worry about what she said way back when because the more recent evidence against her is going to be enough.
For her part, Deen tweeted, "I want to send love and thanks for the kind words you have all shared with me and my family, and the support you've shown me this last week."
She better stock up on kind words now, because something tells us there won't be too many headed her way on the "Today" show tomorrow.
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