For Paula Deen, Management Mess Leads to Career Meltdown

Paula Deen may not be a racist, but putting her family—and her ego—ahead of smart management has her empire melting
Photographs by Getty Images (3)

On Jan. 31, 2012, Wesley Woolf, a lawyer in Savannah, Ga., wrote a letter to the attorney for Paula Deen, the city’s best-known restaurateur. In addition to her flagship, the Lady & Sons, Deen and her brother co-owned a sprawling seafood restaurant called Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House. The venue was located on the outskirts of town and on the periphery of Deen’s business empire—which over the last decade and a half has expanded into television, books, kitchenware, home furnishings, and pharmaceuticals. She rarely set foot in Uncle Bubba’s in recent years.

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