If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen – the "Today" show kitchen, that is.
Facing allegations that she had used racial slurs, southern cooking guru Paula Deen stood up the "Today" show Friday morning. Her representatives reportedly told Matt Lauer shortly before the show went on air that she would be pulling out of the appearance in which she was set to address the accusations. But she's not the first celebrity chef to stir up controversy, some bouncing back better than others.
Martha Stewart's Jail Stint
Domestic Jack of all trades Martha Stewart was implicated in an insider trading scandal tracing back to a lucrative sale of pharmaceutical stock in 2001. She was found guilty of obstructing justice and lying to investigators, sentenced to five months in prison and charged with a $30,000 fine. While the scandal took a toll on her image and company, she has recovered somewhat, now on a well-publicized online dating crusade.
Robert Irvine's Résumé Fibs
Robert Irvine, the British star of "Dinner: Impossible," was found to have lied on his résumé. He told potential investors for a St. Petersburg, Fla., restaurant he had been knighted, earned a University of Leeds degree and even helped make Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake – claims found by the St. Petersburg Times to be false or exaggerated. The controversy cost him his business partners and the Food Network found a replacement host for his show. But the scandal didn't last. He is back on the cable channel with a new show, "Restaurant: Impossible."
Guy Fieri's Homophobia Accusations
A 2011 "City Pages" profile of Guy Fieri suggested that the "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" host was homophobic. The story quoted one of the show's producers saying, "[Fieri] said, 'You can't send me to talk to gay people without warning! Those people weird me out!'" A Fieri spokesperson denied the claim, calling Fieri "a stand-up guy who does right by people." But when asked for comment after the story, another former producer backed up the initial characterization.
Paula Deen's N-word Allegations
In mid-June, The National Enquirer said it had obtained video from Deen's deposition for a sexual harassment lawsuit in which she admitted to using the n-word and making other racial slurs. Soon after, the transcript of the deposition was posted to the Internet, revealing that not only did Deen admit to using the n-word, but also making anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic jokes, as well as having planned a "southern style wedding" in which she hired black waiters to take on the appearance of slaves. Paula Deen Enterprises released a statement defending the chef. However, her bailout on the "Today" show interview suggests she's not ready to address the allegations just yet.