In 2012, she was criticized for announcing she had both diabetes and a lucrative endorsement deal for a drug to treat the condition she’d until then hidden. A year later, during a legal dispute with a former employee who accused her of racial discrimination and sexual harassment, she acknowledged having used racial slurs in the past.
The experience was painful, but valuable, Deen told the AP. “I learned the power of words, how they have the ability to hurt and once you say certain words you can’t un-ring it, not even 30 years later.”
Deen — whose comeback effort began earlier this year, when private investment firm Najafi Companies put up $75 million to $100 million to rebuild her — said she had opportunities to return to traditional television, but both she and her fans preferred the flexibility and social elements of the digital world.
The new site, which is being overseen by longtime Deen producer Gordon Elliot, also will feature all of the content Deen produced during her more than 10 years at the Food Network. The network parted ways with her following the revelations about her comments. Deen wouldn’t say how much it cost to acquire the videos, only that it was “very valuable to us.” That content will be slowly rolled out for subscribers.