NEW YORK -- Paula Deen's merchandise and media empire is fast unraveling.
Retailers Target Corp. and Home Depot Inc. and diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk became the latest companies to sever ties or distance themselves from Paula Deen as fallout builds from revelations that she used racial slurs in the past.
Target said Thursday that it will phase out its Paula Deen-branded cookware and other items, which were sold on its website and in its stores.
"Once the merchandise is sold out, we will not be replenishing inventory," said Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman.
Home Depot, which sold the chef's cookware and kitchen products only online, said it pulled the products off its website on Wednesday.
Diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk said Thursday it and Deen have "mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now."
The developments are the latest blow to Deen's business.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Wednesday that it's also cutting ties with Deen.
Last week, the Food Network said that it would not renew Deens's contract.
Amid the losses, book-buyers are standing by Deen.
As of Thursday, Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Recipes, All Lightened Up, ranked No. 1 on Amazon.com. The book is scheduled for October. Another Deen book, Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible, was at No. 13. Several other Deen books were out of stock.
Deen appeared in a Today show interview Wednesday, dissolving into tears and saying that anyone in the audience who's never said anything they've regretted should pick up a rock and throw it at her head.
The chef repeated that she is not a racist.
-- The Associated Press
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