Paula Deen received a standing ovation when she made her first public appearance since her racism scandal earlier this year.
Deen appeared at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show in Houston, Texas, on Saturday, and was so moved by the applause that she was reduced to tears. The event was held at the Reliant Center in the city.
The 66-year-old host, told the audience of around 1,500 at the event, “These are tears of joy, y’all. I’ve said all along that the one place I’d want to make my first step back out is Texas. Y’all’s hearts are as big as your state.”
Deen was joined by her sons, Bobby and Jamie Deen, and the crowd also featured dozens of fans who had made cardboard cutout masks of Paula’s face.
This was Paula Deen’s first appearance since late June, just weeks after she had admitted saying the N-word during a legal deposition.
Deen went on to cook in front of the huge crowd during the showcase. She reportedly created a chicken pot pie, peanut butter pie, and a salad, and was warmly applauded throughout.
Stephanie Young, who was in attendance, remarked, “We wanted to step it up because she’s had a rough year. We want her back on TV, and we love her.”
There were a few African Americans in the audience, despite Deen’s remarks, and Sherry Carter, as well as her daughters Shana Randle and Michelle Sanders, still defended the former Food Network star.
Carter noted, “When I first heard about it, my feeling was, she got caught. Just about everyone I know has used the word. At least she was honest about it.”
Deen was dropped by numerous businesses after she admitted using the N-word, however a lawsuit against her has since been dropped.
Will you forgive Paula Deen?
[Image via carrie-nelson/Shutterstock]