Paula Deen Splits From Longtime Agent

With business deals busting at the (apron) seams since admitting that she used the N-word, Paula Deen has now cut her ties with the man responsible for her food empire.

The celebrity chef parted ways with her New York agent Barry Weiner, who she says she has worked with for more than a decade and was the person responsible for placing her show Paula’s Home Cooking on The Food Network in 2002, according to the The Hollywood Reporter.

“Paula Deen has separated from her agent,” Deen’s spokeswoman, Elana Weiss, said in an email Thursday (July 4). “She and her family thank him for the tireless effort and dedication over the many years.”

Her downward spiral over the past two weeks has included getting the ax from the Food Network, deals with Wal-mart, Sears, Target and her publisher, despite occupying the top spot on Amazon with what was supposed to be her forthcoming recipe book. The NY Post also reported that Deen’s publicist, Nancy Assuncao, also quit after six years.

Deen recalls meeting Weiner through TV producer Gordon Elliott and their persistence in her book, Paula Deen: It Ain’t All About the Cookin, the AP reports. “Barry and Gordon felt like there was a show somewhere inside this Paula character that could be very successful,” Deen wrote. “They probably courted Food Network for two years trying to push me at them … Barry is affectionately known in my family as Barry Cuda. Perfect name for an agent.”

The food magnate—who Forbes ranked as the fourth highest-earning celeb chef last year after pulling in $17 million—didn’t point fingers in her announcement of the split. It ended, “Paula wishes him well in all future endeavors.”