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Paula Deen makes first public appearance since racial slur controversy

UPI News Service, 09/15/2013 

About 1,500 people greeted Paula Deen in Houston for her first public appearance since it was revealed in June that she had used a racial slur in the past.

Deen appeared at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show at Reliant Center on Saturday, The Houston Chronicle reported.

Fans greeted her with cheers and a standing ovation.

"These are tears of joy, y'all," Deen said. "I've said all along that the one place I'd want to make my first step back out is Texas. Y'all's hearts are as big as your state."

During her appearance, Deen admitted in a deposition on May 17 that she had used a racial slur.

In August, a federal judge in Georgia dismissed a sexual harassment and racial discrimination case against her; however, the damage of the scandal was done, and Deen lost partnerships with major companies, including Target, Sears, Walmart, Home Depot, Kmart and JCPenney.

Stephanie Young, of the Fulshear-Richmond area, showed up to the event with friends to support Deen wearing sashes and carrying placards with Deen's photo on them.

"We wanted to step it up because she's had a rough year," Young said. "We want her back on TV, and we love her."

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