Paula Deen Cries "Tears of Joy" in First Public Appearance Since Scandal

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Paula Deen returned to the public spotlight for the first time since this summer's n-word scandal, and cried tears of joy after receiving a huge ovation.

The celebrity chef, 66, broke down in tears amid 10 minutes of thunderous applause at the Metro Cooking & Entertaining show in Houston Saturday.

Deen of Cookin'

"These are tears of joy, y'all," she said. "This is my first time out in three months. The one place I wanted to make my first step out was in Texas."

"You are forgiving folks with hearts as big as your state. We all experience pain in some way but pain is also a good thing because it makes you grow."

After her emotional outburst, Paula Deen quickly got back in touch with her sassy, culinary side joining sons Bobby and Jamie for a cooking demo.

It looks like she's clearly back in the swing of things.

Deen walked up to a cameraman at the end of her exhibition, put her face right up close to his camera and said with a giant smile, "I'm back!"

After the summer she had, that must feel good.

The controversy began when she and brother Bubba Hiers were sued for racial discrimination and sexual harassment by former restaurant manager Lisa Jackson.

When a transcript of a legal deposition, in which Deen admitted she had used the N-word in the past, was leaked in June, it swiftly ignited a firestorm.

Paula denied all of Jackson's claims and only admitted using racial slurs in past, unrelated circumstances, but her empire began to unravel fast.

The Food Network fired Paula and she lost many lucrative endorsement deals shortly thereafter, including Smithfield Hams, Target and Walmart.

Ballantine Books also canceled a five-book deal and stopped publication of her cookbook, despite the fact that the book had already hit No. 1 on Amazon.

Last month, the lawsuit was dismissed, but the damage was done.

A judge threw out the racial discrimination portion of the suit and soon after, Deen and Jackson reached a settlement to dismiss the remaining claims.

Now that she's back, do you forgive her? Did you ever jump off the Paula bandwagon? Should she go away and never come back? Discuss below!

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tell me something guys.if u and deen wer in a middle of an argument and she called u a nigga an u wer black wud u take it just lyk dat?

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@ princess

I would tell her to donate money to your vocabulary. For you to act like dat pruuves your a freaking racist. Do you take it from your ghetto friend? Go get back in the Obama give away lines.

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so what, i call my black friends nigga and they think its cool. i think its about the context that should matter. i mean if u said the f word to ur friends dont mean ur literally gonna do it, it may be a simile to stupid person, or a reaction when u say f instead of shit.intention or motive is the most impt thing.

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Paula Deen is awesome.. i thought it was ridiculous. the way she was treated..

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I meant "if she were truly racist" , lol, sorry:-)

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Spot on Clarice:-) ! Don't you just love that no one condemns Jackson for her blackmail attempts, which last time I checked was still illegal. Instead Paula is skewered for her Honesty about something that happened in the 80s for Gods Sake!!!

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Let those who have never uttered a racist word-Yes, even in jest, or bought a cd with racial expletives on it, or enjoyed the show of a comedian that has ever made a racially charged joke cast the first stone. This was a Long time ago people, come on! Its too bad that the leaders of this country aren't held to the same stringent standards, they're also a whole hell of a lot less honest. Remember: Paulas "huge" sin was revealed by her honesty. If she were truly honest do you think she would've admitted this? Absolutely not. Her first mistake was assuming America has its fair share of rational people.

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Yes Paula, you are always welcome in Texas. This is the one state that has little use for the politically correct world. We are diverse but with that we are self supportive. We don't give a damn about what the rest of the country thinks and we are the last to buy into this HOMOPHOBE BULLSHIT, RACIAL GUILT or CELEBRITES OPINION. CELEBRITES don't come here because they are so far down on OUR pecking order. Kim Kardashian would get her ass ran out of town on a rail! Her ass couldn't even get a Taxi. If most of us had our way we would disconnect ourselves from the other 49 and let you battle it out with your Obamacare, chicken shit race baiting lawsuits among other things. We are Lone Star and we are BY CHOICE! Paula got caught up in the NEW YORK thrashing of southerners game and she being a southern woman should know to never trust the Obama Media. Shame on you Paula for ever apologizing to ANTI-AMERICA PEOPLE. This people hate indepent folks and they somehow think that their biased opinion matters to real people. Never say your sorry because they see an apology as a weakness. Texas gets along because we are self motivated and have a work ethic. You wont find us waiting in line for a handout or outlawing Big Gulps or wasting tax payers money trying to save a freaking snail. We will still stand when the rest of this melting pot of shit falls. Come on Paula and get a P.O.Box, besides we are hungry.

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pst: DON'T BELIEVE A SINGLE TEAR, folks!!

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Her show should never have been cancelled. Saying the N. word was to far into the past. Its time to move on. She definately is a great cook and I am happy that her show will be on again. Those that cancelled may want her back again.