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.
"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."