Jamie Deen was ringside for mom Paula Deen’s difficult summer and watched as his mother lost her contract with the Food Network and numerous endorsement deals after her June scandal.
Now, after a 10-minute standing ovation from the crowd during her first post-scandal appearance last week, Jamie says he feels Paula is about to make a comeback.
“When all the accusations came out we really didn’t draw the curtains closed, and when they were dismissed — we really didn’t have a big party. Mom is who she is, and the people who know us and love us know that the things said about her weren’t true,” Jamie (who has written a new cookbook with his 7-year-old son) told Access Hollywood in a new interview. “And people learn and grow as they age, so if you go back far enough in someone’s life, there’s obviously going to be mistakes that have been made – everybody included.
“When the charges were dismissed, that gave my mother a little bit of her spirit back and that’s most important for me,” he continued. “We love our mom and would do anything for her. She’s just a great woman.”
Jamie and his brother, Bobby Deen, helped Paula build a family food empire. But when the Food Network dropped Paula’s show, it left her boys in a tough position, as they have their own shows – both owned by the same network.
“The first thing someone wants to do [when hurt] is say, ‘Oh I’m never talking to them again,’” he said, when asked how Paula’s firing from the network affected their family. “Mom can understand and respect the position Bobby and I have gotten in and it’s a business opportunity for our family and mom supports us just like we support her.”
Jamie even said he doesn’t believe Paula’s ties to the network have been irreparably severed.
“I don’t think my mom’s relationship with the Food Network is over and she certainly wouldn’t want us to jeopardize opportunities we get because of their position,” he said.
As for his new cookbook, “Good Food,” the book contains recipes that helped Jamie shed 50 pounds by changing what he ate, as well as when he ate it.
“For me, weight loss was just recognizing the problem areas I had – I was eating late at night, eating a lot of empty calories,” he said. “I snack on almonds now. I weigh myself every day so I’m motivated one way or another.
“I can’t do anything about getting old, but I sure don’t have to be fat and old!” he added.
“Jamie Deen’s Good Food: Cooking Up a Storm with Delicious, Family-Friendly Recipes,” is available in stores now.