Paula Deen has been in the news consistently for the past week and now PEOPLE has got the story on just how she’s taking it all in.
After being dropped by The Food Network and now two of her sponsors, the cook is feeling the heat.
Deen, who is currently with husband Michael Groover and her sons Jamie and Bobby in Georgia, “is beyond devastated,” a producer friend tells PEOPLE magazine.
“She isn’t upset about the loss of money,” reveals the source. “She’s really upset about her reputation. She has been speaking to her friends to make sure they’re okay. She would die if she lost people who she really loves over this.”
“Paula has a sense of humor that includes saying inappropriate things just to see [people’s] reaction,” says the producer friend. “It’s not meant to hurt anyone. Paula goes through her life trying to not hurt people.”
Deen’s fans have rallied behind her by inundating The Food Network’s Facebook page with angry messages. Some fans have even lashed out at Giada Di Laurentiis, whose cooking shows have replaced Deen’s on the network.
Di Laurentiis stopped by Access Hollywood Live on Tuesday, where she dished on having to deal with being caught in the middle of this fiasco.
“Her shows got replaced by my shows, so we have a lot of people not happy with me right now, as if I had anything to do with it,” she told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover.
She added, “I know her as a kind woman. I don’t know what happened and this happened awhile back, so I don’t know what happened so I’m not going to make a comment based on ignorance. That is not a good thing to do.”