Update: Paula Deen Dumped by Target

June 27, 2013

In the latest blow to Paula Deen's business empire, Target has joined retail giant Walmart in severing ties with the TV personality.

"We have made a decision to phase out the Paula Deen merchandise in our stores as well as on Target.com," Target told CNBC on Thursday.

Similarly, Novo Nordisk, which hired Deen as a spokesperson for their diabetes drug Victoza, announced that they are distancing themselves from Deen, saying, "Novo Nordisk and Paula Deen have mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now, while she takes time to focus her attention where it is needed. Novo Nordisk would like to acknowledge Paula's involvement in our 'Diabetes in a New Light' campaign, where she has helped make many people aware of type 2 diabetes and the lifestyle changes needed to control this serious disease."

Deen confirmed last year that she has been a longtime sufferer of Type 2 diabetes.

On Wednesday, retail giant Walmart said it would stop selling her food-related products and Caesars Entertainment announced it was ending its relationship with the embattled culinary star as an endorser of four restaurants.

"We are ending our relationship with Paula Deen Enterprises and we will not place new orders beyond those already committed," Walmart said Wednesday in a corporate statement. "We will work with suppliers to address existing inventories and agreements."

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In its statement, Caesars -- which operates Paula Deen-themed restaurants at four of its casinos -- said it had reached a mutual agreement with Paula Deen Enterprises not to renew the companies' business relationship. The company said it would soon rebrand its four casino restaurants in which Deen's name is used to promote the buffet food.

"While we appreciate Paula's sincere apologies for statements she made in her past that she recently disclosed during a deposition given in response to a lawsuit, after thoughtful consideration of their impact, we have mutually decided that it is in the best interests of both parties to part ways at this time," said Jan Jones Blackhurst, executive vice president of communications and government affairs for Caesars Entertainment.

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The news came on the heels of Monday's decision by pork producer Smithfield Foods to drop Deen as its spokesperson and after shopping network QVC put its relationship with the embattled TV chef on hold.

Deen, 66, was let go from Food Network last week after coming under fire for revealing in a court case deposition that she admitted using the N-word in the past.

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