Business owner defends Paula Deen - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Business owner defends Deen

Azure Rountree Azure Rountree
STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) -

The firestorm of criticism against celebrity cook Paula Deen has at least one protege' defending her.

Azure Rountree learned to cook from Deen's cookbooks and cable TV shows. The mother of four began baking pralines and other treats in her Bulloch County home.

"I went to a book signing of hers in May and carried some of my pralines," Rountree said. "She loved them and wanted to sell them in the store at The Lady and Sons."

Rountree has a five year old son with Autism and started Azure's Gourmet & Sweets, in part, to help the Autism Foundation of Georgia. Rountree said Deen arranged for the proceeds from the sales inside her store to go to the organization.

Rountree said she is disappointed in the way Deen has been characterized by the national media. Savannah's most famous cook has been the target of national attention after details in a lawsuit by a former employee went public. Depositions in the case accuse Deen of racial slurs and discrimination at her restaurant and a restaurant operated by her brother.

"Honestly, when I first heard it and after meeting her and knowing what she's done for me and seeing what kind of human being she is, is this isn't true. This isn't Paula Deen," Azure said Monday.

Rountree said she is satisfied with Deen's apology for using a racial slur "many years ago" and does not belief she is guilty of the actions alleged in the lawsuit.

"I hope that this can be put to rest and she is allowed to share recipes and her love of cooking with the world," Rountree said.

She posted her story on the Facebook page "Bring Back Paula Deen" late last week and it has garnered more than 100,000 "likes" since then.

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

  • FOX19 HeadlinesMore>>

  • The Latest: Barbara Bush buried at presidential library

    The Latest: Barbara Bush buried at presidential library

    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:44 AM EDT2018-04-21 14:44:47 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:57 AM EDT2018-04-22 04:57:26 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston.

    Guests have begun to arrive at St. Martin's Church in Houston for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

    Full Story >

    Guests have begun to arrive at St. Martin's Church in Houston for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

    Full Story >
  • Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Saturday, April 21 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-04-21 04:04:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:57 AM EDT2018-04-22 04:57:16 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    Full Story >

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    Full Story >
  • Trump says he doesn't think personal lawyer will 'flip'

    Trump says he doesn't think personal lawyer will 'flip'

    Saturday, April 21 2018 9:14 AM EDT2018-04-21 13:14:09 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:56 AM EDT2018-04-22 04:56:59 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In a Monday, April 16, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, center, leaves federal court, in New York. Federal prosecutors said they can give President Donald Trump's person...(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In a Monday, April 16, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, center, leaves federal court, in New York. Federal prosecutors said they can give President Donald Trump's person...

    President Donald Trump says he doesn't expect personal lawyer Michael Cohen to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen's business dealings.

    Full Story >

    President Donald Trump says he doesn't expect personal lawyer Michael Cohen to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen's business dealings.

    Full Story >
Powered by Frankly