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Smithfield Foods drops Paula Deen as spokesperson

  • FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2012 file image originally released by NBC, celebrity chef and TV personality Paula Deen appears on the "Today" show to discuss her diabetes in New York. Deen was a no-show Friday, June 21, 2013, at the "Today" show, where she was scheduled to appear to answer questions about past use of racial slurs. (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer, file)

NEW YORK — Smithfield Foods is dropping Paula Deen as a spokeswoman.

The announcement Monday came days after the Food Network said it would not renew Deen's contract. Deen admitted using racial slurs in the past in a deposition that came to light last week in a discrimination lawsuit.

In a statement, Smithfield said it "condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind."

Deen was scheduled to appear on NBC's "Today" show on Wednesday, according to host Matt Lauer. Last week she abruptly canceled on the morning show.

While questioned last month in a discrimination lawsuit, the 66-year-old Food Network star admitted to using the N-word in the past, but she insisted she and her family do not tolerate prejudice.


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