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AP
FILE - Paula Deen

Tearful Deen makes 1st public appearance in months

HOUSTON (AP) — Celebrity cook Paula Deen fought back tears as she was greeted by a supportive crowd during an appearance at a Houston cooking show.

Saturday's event was Deen's first public appearance since June when it was revealed that in an earlier legal deposition she acknowledged using racial slurs in the past. Within a few days the Food Network yanked her show off the air, Smithfield Foods dropped her as a celebrity endorser, and retailers such as Wal-Mart removed her products from shelves.

The Houston Chronicle reports about 1,500 people gave Deen a standing ovation Saturday when she appeared at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show. She told them their hearts were "as big as your state."

Deen held two cooking demonstrations, including tips on how to make peanut butter pie.

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