Paula Deen Severs Ties with Agent, Becomes Extortion Target

Posted Saturday July 6, 2013 1:55 PM GMT

She has lost endorsement deals with countless retailers and her television shows on Food Network, and now Paula Deen has parted ways with her manager just as a New York man has been arrested for trying to extort the Southern cook.

On Thursday (July 4), the Georgia native, who has been the subject of ridicule after admitting to using a racial slur, announced she cut business ties with the agent who helped make her career, Barry Weiner.

A statement released by her spokeswoman read, "Paula Deen has separated from her agent ... She and her family thank him for the tireless effort and dedication over the many years.”

The blows kept on coming on Friday (July 5), when the FBI announced it had arrested former Georgia resident Thomas Paculis after he allegedly sent Ms. Deen an email last month demanding $250,000 in return for not releasing “true and damning” information that would “bring hardship and financial ruin” to the once popular chef.

No comment on the arrest has been made by the Deen camp, but Mr. Paculis is scheduled to appear in court on July 16.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

filed under Paula Deen, Legal