Just when you thought there were no more blows left to be dealt to Paula Deen comes this pretty painful one: NBC News reports that company No. 11 is severing ties. Random House imprint Ballantine Books won't go ahead with a planned printing of her new cookbook. Adding to the ouch: The cookbook in question is Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up—that's right, the one that shot to No. 1 on Amazon thanks to an avalanche of pre-orders in the wake of her n-word scandal. It was set to come out in October as the first book in a five-book deal, and Deen's agent says the whole deal is kaput.
Publishers Weekly reports that Random House said in a short statement that the decision came "after careful consideration." Deen's agent expressed confidence in the book's eventual prospects and wagged a finger at the publisher: "We have gotten reachouts from other major customers in the book industry today offering support. ... I am sorely disappointed in the behavior of Random House for obvious reasons, and other reasons that will become apparent." The AP notes that since all purchases had been pre-orders, no refunds are necessary. (Read more Paula Deen stories.)