Paula Deen: I’m ‘Like That Black Football Player’ Who Came Out

Paula Deen continues on her comeback campaign, this time drawing comparisons between herself and recently out NFL prospect Michael Sam.

“If it wasn’t for my fans’ love, I’d be home breathing into a paper bag,” she told People (via USA Today).

Deen’s road to career recovery has been tough.

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“I’m fighting to get my name back,” she told the mag. “I feel like ‘embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name.”

The 67-year-old, whose career imploded after admitting to previously using the N-word, during a deposition, then went on to compare herself to Sam.

“It’s like that black football player who recently came out,” she told the mag. “He said, ‘I just want to be known as a football player. I don’t want to be known as a gay football player.’ I know exactly what he’s saying.”

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Following Deen’s career meltdown, the foodie found comfort in some carbs.

“I made eight cakes in six days,” she said, explaining that her husband Michael told her, “‘Honey, I don’t know if I’m going to survive this.’”

Looking back, Deen said she’s learned a valuable lesson.

“I used to have dreams that I lost everything,” the celebrity chef continued. “And when it finally happens, you think, ‘I’m still alive,’” she continued. “Michael told me, ‘You’ve learned how badly words can hurt and how powerful they are.’ I have been hurt by them, and I unintentionally hurt others. But I don’t want that to define who I am.”

-- Jesse Spero

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