EXCLUSIVE: Paula Deen Struggled With Agoraphobia Fears After Racial Slur Scandal


Celebrity Chef Paula Deen is opening up about the fallout of her after her racial slur scandal. Paula and her sons, Jamie and Bobby Deen spoke to Nancy O'Dell about her struggle, the scandal and the launch of her network in Savannah, Georgia.

NEWS: Paula Deen Apologizes for Racial Slur

Last year, Deen came under fire for using the "N word" in a lawsuit filed by a former manager at her restaurant. Following her public apology, she lost her Food Network contract, a cookbook deal and many other endorsement deals.

Paula tells O'Dell her emotional state following the controversy was one of her worst. "My darkest moment was when I had to face the fact that I had hurt people." She goes on to say, "It got bad. I went on a 20 year ride with agoraphobia, from the time I was 20 to the time I was 40. I knew that if I was not careful, that I could slip right back into that."

She further describes the scandal, "It was like a death in the family…I know that when you lose a family member that there's certain emotions you're going to go through: loneliness, sadness, self-pity certainly is one of them, desertion is one of them, fear is another one…You got to experience all of those emotions. I had to give a very heartfelt, 'I'm sorry, I'm so sorry' and then I had to forgive myself. When I did that, then I could get in the wagon and we could all move forward."

NEWS: Paula Deen Announces Launch Date of New Network

Deen's 3-part interview with Nancy will air tonight on Entertainment Tonight. She will also discuss the launch of her online cooking book and how she's entering the digital world with the launch of her new network on Wednesday. The Paula Deen Network launches September 24.

NEWS: Deen Will Be 'Less Edited' On New Network

Watch Paula Deen Announce the launch of her new netowrk in the video below.