Paula Deen breaks down in tears in first post-racism scandal public appearance

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In her first public appearance since the lawsuit accusing her of workplace racism was settled, Paula Deen couldn't hold back her tears.

The disgraced celebrity chef appeared at the "Metro Cooking and Entertainment Show" in Houston on Saturday (Sept. 14), where she was met with a standing ovation from the audience. She began sobbing at her warm reception, the Houston Chronicle reports.

"These are tears of joy, y'all," Deen says. "This is my first time out in three months. I've said all along that the one place I'd want to make my first step back out is Texas. Y'all's hearts are as big as your state."

This was Deen's first public appearance since her public scandal in May after admitting in a deposition that she had used the "N-word" in the past. She then lost her spot on the Food Network as well as sponsorships with Target, Sears, Walmart, Home Depot, and Kmart, among others.

A Georgia federal judge threw out the suit on Aug. 23.

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