Posted by Shirley Brady on January 17, 2012 05:33 PM
Paula Deen confirmed this morning to Al Roker on The Today Show that she has had type-2 Diabetes for the past three years but chose to keep it "close to her chest," despite continuing to espouse butter-laden comfort food (stuffing on a stick or donut burgers, anyone?) on the Food Network.
Deen, who told Roker that she doesn't intend to change the way she cooks now that her diabetes is public, has timed her announcement to the signing of a deal to be a paid spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, which produces the diabetes drug Victoza. The drug company is featuring Deen on a new website (called "Diabetes in a New Light") that offers "recipes, lifestyle tips and support"). Deen's ads for the diabetes drug are slated to appear later this month.
How the Southern celeb chef announced the partnership to her Twitter followers: "Y'all can visit http://www.DiabetesinaNewLight.com to learn more about my journey with type 2 diabetes! #DiabetesinaNewLight"
Deen tells USA Today that her delay in talking about the disease had nothing to do with fear about hurting her reputation. "That was not why. My knowledge about the disease was very limited. But now I'm coming with good information, something that can help and bring hope to other people. It may sound cliché, but it's the God-honest truth."
Fox Business commentator Stuart Varney thinks she has misled fans and that her brand is tarnished for not divulging her medical condition earlier; your thoughts?