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Paula Deen struggles to hold onto sponsors after racism allegations

The Paula Deen empire is taking a big hit after the TV chef was dropped by Food Network and Smithfield Foods.

Clone of Paula Deen fired from Food NetworkEnlarge
The Food Network said it will not renew cooking show host Paula Deen's contract. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Just days after Paula Deen lost her lucrative deal with Food Network, several of her other sponsors may be dropping the celebrity chef like donuts into a deep fryer.

Deen is facing a public backlash after admitting in a taped deposition to using the 'N' word and discussing plans for a Southern plantation-style wedding with an all-black wait staff.

Food Network said they're not renewing Deen's contract when it expires at the end of the month. She's been with the network for more than a decade.

Smithfield Foods, the pork company that sold a 'Paula Deen' branded ham, also decided to drop her as its spokesperson.

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

"Therefore, we are terminating our partnership with Paula Deen. Smithfield is determined to be an ethical food industry leader and it is important that our values and those of our spokespeople are properly aligned."

Food Network might have made her famous, but Smithfield was a key part of the Paula Deen brand.

"Smithfield was a key deal for her empire," Allen Salkin, author of the upcoming book From Scratch: Inside the Food Network, told PEOPLE.

"In addition to paying her handsomely as an endorser, the ham company helped her charitable image by delivering truckloads of meat to food banks in her name."

More from GlobalPost: Paula Deen: "Yes, of course" I've used the 'N' word

Deen apologized for what she called "inappropriate, hurtful language" in two videos posted to YouTube and asked people to please stick by her.

"I've made plenty of mistakes along the way, but I beg you, my children, my team, my fans, my partners – I beg for your forgiveness. Please forgive me for the mistakes that I've made," she said. 

But it may not be enough so save some other of Deen's major deals that are now hanging in the lurch.

Caesar's Entertainment Group — which has several Paula Deen's Kitchen restaurants in it's Harrah's Hotels and Casinos — said it was  going to "monitor the situation".

"As a company with a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, we are deeply disturbed by what we are reading in the press and strongly object to any use of racial epithets," a statement said.

Another sponsor, QVC, said they are reviewing their business relationship with Deen "and in the meantime, we have no immediate plans to have her appear on QVC."

But there are some brands still sticking with the embattled chef. Deen might not be frying up Southern specialties on the Food Network anymore but there's a good chance you'll still be able to find her on cable.

Businessweek reports that the other network which airs her cooking show, Paula's Home Cooking, hasn't made any mention of canceling it.

Great American Country cable channel — which shares a parent company with Food Network — still lists episodes of the show scheduled to air thorough July 15. 

Deen's book deals might also be safe. According to Publishers Weekly, Random House is still planning to publish Deen's first book with the company, 'Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up.'

The book is scheduled to be published in October but, like everyone else, the company is "continuing to monitor" the story.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130626/paula-deen-struggles-hold-sponsors-after-racism-