February 28, 2014 06:03:44 GMT
Deen, who is restarting her career after she was entangled in a racism controversy last year, tells a magazine that she can relate to Michael Sam's struggle after coming out of the closet.
Paula Deen, who is rebuilding her career after racism controversy last year, graces the cover of People magazine's latest issue. In an interview featured in the magazine, the celebrity chef talks about her life following the scandal and her struggle to restart her business.
"I'm fighting to get my name back," she says, as quoted by USA Today. "I feel like 'embattled' or 'disgraced' will always follow my name. It's like that black football player who recently came out," she continues, referring to NFL prospect Michael Sam. "He (Sam) said, 'I just want to be known as a football player. I don't want to be known as a gay football player.' I know exactly what he's saying."
Deen recently appeared at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival and was welcomed by her cheering fans. "If it wasn't for my fans' love, I'd be home breathing into a paper bag," Deen tells the magazine. "I used to have dreams that I lost everything. And when it finally happens, you think, 'I'm still alive.' "
In other news, Deen announced on Wednesday, February 26 that she would open a restaurant, Paula Deen's Kitchen, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. As reported by the Associated Press, a new company which manages her business Paula Deen Ventures said that they poured $20 million for the project.