Business

Walmart is latest to drop Deen

NEW YORK — Paula Deen lost another chunk of her empire on Wednesday.

Walmart Stores Inc. announced that it has ended its relationship with the Southern celebrity chef, part of the continuing fallout in the wake of revelations that she used racial slurs in the past. The world’s largest retailer currently carries a variety of products under her moniker, including food items, cookware, and health and wellness products, at all of its 4,000 US namesake stores. The retailer began selling her merchandise several years ago.

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‘‘We will not place new orders beyond those already committed,’’ said Dave Tovar, a Walmart spokesman.

The severed ties with Walmart are the latest blow to Deen’s business. Her name is being stripped from four buffet restaurants owned by Caesars. Caesars said Wednesday that its decision to rebrand its restaurants in Joliet, Ill.; Tunica, Miss.; Cherokee, N.C.; and Elizabether, Ind., was a mutual one with Deen.

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Last week, the Food Network said that it would not renew the celebrity cook’s contract. On Monday, Smithfield Foods said it was dropping her as a spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, the celebrity chef’s representatives distributed nine letters supporting Deen from other companies that work with her, as she fights to keep her business empire from crumbling.

Target Corp., which carries Paula Deen-branded products, reiterated Wednesday it was ‘‘evaluating the situation.’’

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Deen appeared in a ‘‘Today’’ show interview earlier Wednesday, dissolving into tears and saying that anyone in the audience who’s never said anything they’ve regretted should pick up a rock and throw it at her head.

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