Caesars Entertainment Corp. has severed its business relationship with Paula Deen, the embattled celebrity chef who admitted making racial slurs in the past.
In a statement, Caesars Entertainment said “it has reached a mutual agreement with Paula Deen Enterprises not to renew the two companies’ business relationship.”
The resort giant plans to rebrand Deen’s restaurants later this year.
Caesars has Deen-themed restaurants at four of its properties: Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Harrah’s Tunica, Harrah’s Joliet and Harrah’s Cherokee.
“While we appreciate Paula’s sincere apologies for statements she made in her past that she recently disclosed during a deposition given in response to a lawsuit, after thoughtful consideration of their impact, we have mutually decided that it is in the best interests of both parties to part ways at this time,” said Jan Jones Blackhurst, executive vice president of communications and government affairs for Caesars Entertainment.
Smithfield Foods on Monday announced it planned to drop Deen as a spokeswoman.
The announcement followed on the heels the Food Network’s decision to not renew Deen’s contract.
The fallout is from a deposition in a discrimination lawsuit during which Deen said she used racial slurs in the past.
Deen was asked under oath if she had ever used the N-word. “Yes, of course,” Deen said, though she added, “It’s been a very long time.”
Deen has said she and her family have never tolerated prejudice. In a videotaped apology, she asked her fans and critics to forgive her.
The apology had been posted online for about an hour when the Food Network released a terse statement that it “will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of this month.”
The network declined to comment further.