It's been a rough summer for Paula Deen, but it seems there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for the beleaguered celebrity chef.
"She's doing really fantastic,'' Deen's eldest son said during an appearance on the Today show this morning while promoting his new book Jamie Deen's Good Food. "We've gotten tremendous love and support, and of course we would just do anything for mom. It's been an interesting summer for us, but we've been through challenges as a family before, and we're going to be fine.''
She broke down in tears at the event after receiving continuous applause during a 10-minute standing ovation, reportedly telling the audience, "These are tears of joy, y'all. This is my first time out in three months...The one place I wanted to make my first step out was in Texas. You are forgiving folks with hearts as big as your state."
"It's tough,'' Deen's 46-year-old son told Matt Lauer Wednesday morning. "You're in this business, people are going to take potshots at you. You accept that with the opportunities that it allows you, but personal attacks on your mom is never an easy thing. We know who mom is, and people that know us and love us know, so you've just got roll with the punches. I mean what are you going to do?"
In May, Paula admitted in a video deposition to past use N-word as part of a $1.2 million lawsuit filed against her by a former employee.
After Deen's controversial confession, a number of sponsors severed their ties with the 66-year-old chef, including the Food Network, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Smithfield Foods, Sears, JCPenney and Walmart, to name a few. Her cookbook was also dropped by its publisher, despite reaching the No. 1 spot on Amazon.com's best-seller list.
The discrimination lawsuit against Deen has since been dismissed.
"While this has been a difficult time for both my family and myself, I am pleased that the Judge dismissed the race claims and I am looking forward to getting this behind me, now that the remaining claims have been resolved," Deen said in a statement obtained by E! News.
"During this time my faith has strengthened me and the tremendous outpouring of support as well as prayers from folks from all walks of life has been both humbling and overwhelming. I am confident that those who truly know how I live my life know that I believe in kindness and fairness for everyone."