Paula Deen's Meltdown: Martha Stewart and 7 Others Still Defending the Disgraced TV Star

There was a time when Paula Deen's biggest scandal was her overuse of butter. Now, the chef and TV personality has come under fire for her past use of the n-word and other racist behaviors (such as, err, a "slavery-themed wedding"). But while most of the media is outraged, a few people have come to Paula Deen's defense. Here's a guide to the folks who will be standing by the Queen of Butter.

Not Everyone Hates Paula Deen

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There was a time when Paula Deen's biggest scandal was her overuse of butter. Now, the chef and TV personality has come under fire for her past use of the n-word and other racist behaviors (such as, err, a "slavery-themed wedding"). But while most of the media is outraged, a few people have come to Paula Deen's defense. Here's a guide to the folks who will be standing by the Queen of Butter.

'Cooking With Paula Deen' Publisher

Though Paula Deen has lost corporate support from Sears, Smithfield, and so, so many more, Hoffman Media, the publisher behind her bimonthly magazine, will continue to publish

Cooking With Paula Deen. "The recent images portrayed by the media do not reflect the person we know on a personal or a professional level," the publisher said in a statement.

Jimmy Carter

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A political heavy-hitter has come out in support the embattled Food Network chef. Carter, a close friend of Deen's, defended the star on CNN by talking about Deen's various charity programs. "I advised her to let the dust settle and to make apologies," he said. "And she has some very beneficial human programs in Savannah, Georgia, where she lives ... I advised her to get some of those people who she's helping every day to speak out and show that she has changed in her relationship with African-American people, with minorities in the last number of years."

Martha Stewart

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It's a bad thing. That Deen is taking heat, according to Stewart. The mogul appeared on Watch What Happens Live! Wednesday and defended the embattled Food Network star to host Andy Cohen: "I feel sorry for Paula Deen ... She's a public figure. And I know you have to be extremely careful being a public figure." Stewart even noted that her defense of Deen could get her in trouble, thanks to her own status as a public figure: "What I just said ... It'll be there forever."

Bill Maher

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On his HBO show, Real Time, Bill Maher asked his panel if a woman who grew up in the South before the Civil Rights Movement gets a pass at using the n-word. His panelists said absolutely not — to which Maher agreed. But he did defend Deen by asking whether it was right to cancel her show and make someone just "go away" after making a poor choice.

Rev. Al Sharpton

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The Reverend is definitely a headline-maker, but we were shocked when he came to Deen's defense. After hearing about the media backlash against Deen, Sharpton said, "A lot of us have in the past said things we have regretted saying years ago... It's not about her past. She deserves what's fair, but that's based on what she's engaged in now."

Paula Deen's Sons, Bobby and Jamie Deen

Paula Deen's sons have told the media that their mom is a good-hearted woman whom they have never heard speak in a racist manner. They explained that her reasoning for admitting to her past behavior had to do with her being on the stand and having to discuss parts of her life she wasn't proud of. "Our mother was under oath, asked in a deposition to pour over her entire life and to admit whether or not she had ever heard or used this word and it broke her heart to have to answer truthfully and say, yes that she had," Bobby said. "But the important thing here is for people to know that that is not her heart ... I'm disgusted by the entire thing because it began as extortion and it has become character assassination."

Paula Deen's Fans

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The Food Network — Paula Deen's TV home for years — was quick to drop her contract when reports about Deen's rhetoric was released. But Paula Deen's fans came out to support her in a variety of ways, like stopping by the souvenir shop next to her Savannah restaurant... and posting hateful messages on the Food Network's website.

Anne Rice

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The horror novelist claimed she had never heard of Paula Deen until today, yet she stood up for her on her Facebook page, asking readers whether the media's destruction of Paula Deen was really right. She asked readers if we were turning into a "lynch mob culture," adding, “It’s so easy to persecute an older, overweight, unwise, crude, ignorant woman who may very well be a good person at heart who has achieved a great deal in her life... Woe to anyone today who is not slender, young, clever and politically correct.”