Business owner defends Paula Deen - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

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.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Trump thrusts abortion fight into crucial midterm elections

    Trump thrusts abortion fight into crucial midterm elections

    Friday, May 18 2018 12:40 AM EDT2018-05-18 04:40:58 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 5:11 AM EDT2018-05-20 09:11:28 GMT
    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File). FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks to participants of the annual March for Life event, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. The Trump administration will resurrec...(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File). FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks to participants of the annual March for Life event, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. The Trump administration will resurrec...

    The Trump administration is resurrecting a Reagan-era rule that would ban federally funded family planning clinics from discussing abortion with women, or sharing space with abortion providers.

    More >>

    The Trump administration is resurrecting a Reagan-era rule that would ban federally funded family planning clinics from discussing abortion with women, or sharing space with abortion providers.

    More >>
  • US births hit a 30-year low, despite good economy

    US births hit a 30-year low, despite good economy

    Thursday, May 17 2018 12:39 AM EDT2018-05-17 04:39:43 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 5:11 AM EDT2018-05-20 09:11:20 GMT
    (AP Photo/Seth Wenig). FILE - This Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 file photo shows newborn babies in the nursery of a postpartum recovery center in upstate New York. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released on Thursday, May 17...(AP Photo/Seth Wenig). FILE - This Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 file photo shows newborn babies in the nursery of a postpartum recovery center in upstate New York. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released on Thursday, May 17...

    Births have been declining since 2014, but 2017 saw the greatest year-to-year drop - about 92,000 less than the previous year.

    More >>

    Births have been declining since 2014, but 2017 saw the greatest year-to-year drop - about 92,000 less than the previous year.

    More >>
  • Doctor sentenced for poisoning girlfriend who lost baby

    Doctor sentenced for poisoning girlfriend who lost baby

    Sunday, May 20 2018 3:59 AM EDT2018-05-20 07:59:32 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 3:59 AM EDT2018-05-20 07:59:32 GMT
    The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan. (Source: WJLA/Brooke Fiske/CNN)The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan. (Source: WJLA/Brooke Fiske/CNN)

    The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan.

    More >>

    The man no longer has his medical license, and he could be deported to his birthplace of Pakistan.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly