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Food Network won’t renew Paula Deen’s contract

Paula Deen

Paula Deen

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The Food Network said Friday it’s dumping Paula Deen, barely an hour after the celebrity cook posted a videotaped apology online begging forgiveness from fans and critics troubled by her admission to having used racial slurs in the past.

The 66-year-old Savannah kitchen celebrity has been swamped in controversy since court documents filed this week revealed Deen told an attorney questioning her under oath last month that she has used the N-word.

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The Food Network, which made Deen a star with ‘‘Paula’s Home Cooking’’ in 2002 and later ‘‘Paula’s Home Cooking’’ in 2008, weighed in with a terse statement Friday afternoon.

‘‘Food Network will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of this month,’’ the statement said. Network representatives declined further comment. A representative for Deen did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages seeking comment on the decision.

The news came as Deen worked to repair the damage to her image, which has spawned a vast empire of cookbooks, a bimonthly cooking magazine, a full line of cookware, food items like spices and even furniture.

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