June has not been a good month for Paula Deen -- she has admitted to using racial slurs, no-showed on Matt Lauer, recorded (and pulled) bizarre YouTube videos, and was fired by the Food Network all in one week -- but the celeb chef's empire hasn't totally crumbled yet.
Still, things aren't looking good for the former "Paula's Home Cooking" star. Her line of hams with Smithfield was just dropped, and her contract with QVC is now on the line (a rep for the network told Us Weekly, "We are reviewing our business relationship with Ms. Deen, and in the meantime, we have no immediate plans to have her appear on QVC"), which could also mean the end of her cookware products deal with the home shopping channel.
Paula Deen's recent string of bad press is just the latest in celeb chef scandals, but will it destroy her career, or can she make like these celebrity chefs who turned scandal into just desserts?
In 2004, lifestyle guru Martha Stewart's 5 month jail sentence for insider trading had her spending time at a West Virginia federal prison (OK, it was minimum security and dubbed "Camp Cupcake"), but she made lemonade out of those lemons. During a 2010 appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Stewart said her motto was "If you have a job you do it well" -- even if that means waxing prison floors. After her release, she launched a major comeback, churning out new product lines, TV shows, and self-help books. Stewart recently told Parade, "I have my title and everything. I've led such an interesting and complicated life that it's getting to be time to record it." She has an autobiography coming out soon.
In 2011, a profile of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" host Guy Fieri painted him as homophobic. A "City Pages" article quoted producer David Page as saying Fieri allegedly called him and said, "'You can't send me to talk to gay people without warning! Those people weird me out!'" Producers were later required to make a note of any indications of homosexuality detected during pre-interviews of guests. Fieri's spokesperson denied the claim, and the rock 'n roll chef went on to star alongside Rachael Ray in the popular cooking competition show, "Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off."
In 2010, "Iron Chef America" star Mario Batali and his business partner were accused of tip skimming, allegedly deducting four to five percent of their restaurant workers' tip pool. According to Us Weekly, the resulting lawsuit was settled to the tune of $5.25 million. But while up to 1,100 restaurant workers were said to be affected by the settlement, the scandal did little damage to the Food Network's star's reputation. Batali went on to land a high profile gig as a host of ABC's "The Chew."
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Martha Stewart
- Paula Deen