Target, others, cuts ties with Deen

NEW YORK — Paula Deen’s multimillion-dollar merchandise and media empire continues to unravel following revelations she used racial slurs in the past.

Target Corp., Home Depot Inc., and diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk on Thursday became the latest companies to distance themselves from the Southern celebrity chef.

Home Depot, which sold Paula Deen-branded kitchen products online, pulled the merchandise off its website on Wednesday. Target will phase out its Paula Deen-branded cookware and other items in stores and online.


Nordisk said it and Deen have ‘‘mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now.’’ Deen, who specializes in Southern comfort food, had been promoting the company’s drug Victoza since last year, when she announced she had diabetes.

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These are the latest blows since comments Deen made in a court deposition became public. Last week, the Food Network said it would not renew her contract. On Monday, Smithfield Foods dropped her as a spokeswoman. On Wednesday, Walmart cut its ties with Deen following a tearful ‘‘Today’’ show interview in which she said she’s not a racist.

On the same day, Caesars Entertainment said Deen’s name is being stripped from four restaurants owned by the company.

Deen’s empire generates total annual revenue of nearly $100 million, Strategic Resource Group estimates.

Not every company Deen does business with has severed ties. Kohl’s Corp. declined to comment, while Macy’s Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. said they’re evaluating the situation. QVC said it’s reviewing its deal with Deen.

Associated Press