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Paula Deen

Paula Ann Hiers Deen (born January 19, 1947)

Early life
Deen was born Paula Ann Hiers in Albany, Georgia, the daughter of Corrie A. Hiers (née Paul) and Earl Wayne Hiers, Sr. She grew up Baptist, and is still deeply devoted to her faith. Her parents died before she was 23, and an early marriage ended in divorce. In her 20s, Deen suffered from panic attacks and agoraphobia. She then focused on cooking for her family as something she could do without leaving her house. Her grandmother Irene Paul had taught her the hand-me-down art of Southern cooking; one of the only places she felt safe was at her own stove, making thousands of pots of chicken and dumplings. She later moved to Savannah, Georgia, with her sons. In 1989, she divorced her husband, Jimmy Deen, to whom she had been married since 1965. She was left with only $200 making sandwiches and meals, which her sons Jamie and Bobby delivered.

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The amazing Southern home cook offered an apology for what she's said, but some seem to think the video wasn't genuine. To me, she seems embarrassed in the video, but it's hard to undo what's already done, as seen in the decision to not continue with her regular shows on the Food Network.

Contributed by Adrienne Feisel

Some controversy over racial slurs from Paula Deen, leading to Food Network's decision not to renew her contract. Sad, because she brings flavor to the Food Network line up. But, if she comes across as offensive, then this is a smart decision.

Contributed by Sammo Lea

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