Paula Deen Returns to Standing Ovation

In her first public appearance since the transcript leak, Deen received a standing ovation

Chia Chong
Paula Deen makes her first public appearance after the scandal caused by a racial and sexual harassment case.

Some three months after Paula Deen admitted to using the "N" word in a leaked deposition, months after Food Network, Target, and plenty of other partnerships dropped her, Deen is back on the publicity circuit.

Over the weekend Deen returned for a cooking demo at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show at the Reliant Center in Houston. And while she may have told TMZ that "I never went anywhere," the celebrity chef broke down on stage, saying, "These are tears of joy, y'all... This is my first time out in three months. The one place I would take my one step back out is Texas, because Texas is full of loving, forgiving folks and y'all's hearts are as big as y'all's state." (Eater has a full recount of her emotional speech).

In the meantime, Deen is still selling tickets to her Paula Deen cruise, and plans to show up at book signings for her son, Bobby's, latest cookbook, including one at The Lady and Sons, and one at the scene of the original crime: Uncle Bubba's. Lisa Jackson, the plaintiff of the lawsuit that was dropped recently, worked at Uncle Bubba's and filed complaints about the work environment there.

So how quickly will Deen recover from this? Judging from the standing ovation, the dropped lawsuit, and the glowing letter from Jackson, perhaps fairly quickly. She seems to think so, telling cameramen at the event Saturday, "Hi. I'm back."

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