Paula Deen is in a huge pickle right now, and while she'll surely have some serious explaining to do during her early morning "Today Show" pit stop with Matt Lauer, what she really needs is an in-depth interview with a certain talk show queen. Yeah, we're talking old friend Oprah Winfrey (why not?), who's become really good at nabbing post-scandal interviews. Just ask Lance Armstrong.
Public relations specialist Paul Friederichsen told USA Today that in the wake of Deen's racial slur scandal, the former Food Network star is "trying to get her story out but she's making a mess of it." He suggests that if Deen wants any chance of rebuilding her damaged rep, she should first come clean to Lauer (she stood up the "Today Show" host last week), and then find a way to "engage the African American community."
"You need to sit down with Oprah," Friederichsen advises Deen. "You need to talk to her. If she will talk with you."
He adds that the sit down also has to come from the heart. "It's got to be very obvious to anyone watching this that this is not something that someone scripted for you," he said. (Like those three YouTube apologies a desperate Deen released in one day?)
Paula Deen and Oprah go way back, but a chat today may not be all that country cozy, considering the celeb chef admitted to using the N word in the past.
But back in the day, the Food Network star shared her favorite pound cake recipe on Oprah's talk show, which culminated in a hilarious mixer mishap. When Oprah questioned an ingredient list that included two sticks of butter and three cups of sugar, Deen reminded her, "I'm your cook, not your doctor!"
Paula and Oprah also had a slumber party when the Queen of Talk stopped by her Savannah, Georgia home for an interview last year. At the time, Paula told her pal about a recurring dream in which she "can't even find two nickels in [her] purse." She added that she wanted to put her family "in a position where, if I die, I never have to worry about [them]."
With her recent firing from the Food Network, as well as the loss of her deal with Smithfield and a "relationship review" with QVC, Deen's dream could become a real life nightmare if she doesn't do some serious damage control.
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Paula Deen
- Food Network
- Matt Lauer