Welcome back! After a publicly difficult 2013, Paula Deen revealed at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival on Sunday that she’s “back in the saddle.” She did so quite literally, too, but straddling Food Network chef Robert Irvine during a cooking demonstration.
Over the summer, the celebrity chef was sued by a former employee for racial discrimination. During the lawsuit, she admitted to using the N-word in the past, but the case was eventually thrown out. Still, Paula’s career took a major hit — she was dropped from the Food Network and lost her biggest endorsement deals.
“I have heard on more than one occasion that I’ve never apologized,” she said at the event. “So if anybody did not hear me apologize, I would like to apologize to those who did not hear me.”
Recently, things have turned around for the 67-year-old Southerner, though. She’s secured a $75 million+ investment deal with Najafi Media for her company, Paula Deen Ventures. Back in the saddle, indeed!