Paula Deen's Publicist: I Quit

Surprise, surprise

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 24, 2012 9:49 AM CST

(Newser) – What do you do when your celebrity chef client continues churning out dishes like Deep-Fried Stuffing on a Stick or Cheesy Ham and Banana Casserole three years after she learns she has Type 2 diabetes, only to start shilling for a drugmaker? If you're Paula Deen's publicist, you walk. Nancy Assuncao, who worked with Deen for six years, quit over Deen's plan to hawk a diabetes drug, the New York Post reports.

Assuncao “strongly disagreed with Deen’s dramatic turnabout, after years of promoting fatty foods, to announcing she has a deal with a diabetes drug company and will be promoting lighter food and 'diabetes in a new light,'" says a source. Assuncao herself adds, "I could not agree with the new business strategy going forward." Deen's new rep was "on the Paula Deen cruise" and unavailable; the Post notes that that jaunt is a "'tasty journey' in the Caribbean with a group buffet dinner, a cooking demo, and a personal photo with Deen (one per family)." If you can't get enough, click to see Deen's last meal before announcing her diagnosis, or her unfortunate "six-word memoir."

In this Oct. 26, 2009 file photo, Paula Deen applauds at the Women's Conference 2009 Night in Long Beach, Calif.
In this Oct. 26, 2009 file photo, Paula Deen applauds at the Women's Conference 2009 Night in Long Beach, Calif.   (AP Photo/Katy Winn, File)
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