Paula Deen's business woes continue to mount, a week after news broke that the celebrity chef had used a racial slur and a day after she made a failed attempt to save face on NBC's "Today."
Retail giant Target has severed its business ties with Deen, adding to a list of companies that have decided to part ways with her amid the scandal, the Associated Press reports.
A spokeswoman for the company told the AP that the company will phase out Deen's merchandise, which includes cookware. "Once the merchandise is sold out, we will not be replenishing inventory," the spokeswoman added.
Over the past week, a number of Deen's business partners have fled from the butter-happy chef, chipping away at her empire by defection. After the Food Network's decision not to renew Deen's contract, Smithfield Foods parted ways with Deen, followed by Caesars Entertainment and Walmart. On Thursday, drug manufacturer Novo Nordisk, which makes the diabetes drug Victoza, which Deen endorses, suspended their relationship.
"Novo Nordisk and Paula Deen have mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now, while she takes time to focus her attention where it is needed," the company said Thursday. "Novo Nordisk would like to acknowledge Paula’s involvement in our Diabetes in a New Light campaign, where she has helped make many people aware of type 2 diabetes and the lifestyle changes needed to control this serious disease."
Deen has been mired in controversy since last week, when news broke that she had used the "N" word during a deposition. Deen and her brother, Earl W. "Bubba" Hiers by a former restaurant employee who claims that Hiers created a sexually and racially hostile work environment, and that Deen failed to prevent it.