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Diabetes drug plug costs Paula Deen her publicist

Rep Steps Down After Six Years

Paula Deen's longtime publicist has left the chef's camp. The announcement comes just a week after the Queen of Southern Cuisine revealed that she's signed on to be the new pitchwoman for a diabetes drug -- despite concealing her own diabetes diagnosis for more than three years.

Angry diabetics have called celebrity chef Paula Deen a hypocrite for hiding her diabetes diagnosis while promoting fatty, sugar-filled foods on her popular Food Network series.

Now even the culinary goddess' longtime mouthpiece has turned on her.

Tattling tipsters told The New York Post's "Page Six" column that Paula's powerhouse publicist stepped down last month: And it's all over the notorious butter-lover's decision to plug a diabetes drug.

Nancy Assuncao was employed as Deen's rep for six years before the pair parted ways over the cook's plan to partner with a drug company that provides pharmaceutical relief for diabetics.

On NBC's Today Show last week, Deen, host of the Food Network's Paula's Best Dishes, confirmed that she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2008. She also announced her latest business venture -- a partnership with diabetes drug manufacturer Novo Nordisk.

Paula Deen: "Yes, I have diabetes" >>

Some of Deen's fans expressed outrage that the 65-year-old chef found what they believe is a way to capitalize on a diagnosis she kept a secret. This, as she continued to promote her sugar-saturated signature dishes, like "Chocolate Cheese Fudge" and "Sausage Pancake Egg Sandwiches."

And it's Deen's deal to hawk the diabetes drug Victoza that sent Nancy clapping for the door.

Paula Deen hears haters, will donate cash to ADA >>

Assuncao "strongly disagreed with Deen's dramatic turnabout, after years of promoting fatty foods…" an insider says.

According to the Post's report, "Nancy disagreed with Paula's plan to be a drug company spokesman and challenged her decision. But this wasn't a battle Nancy felt she was going to win. She couldn't be part of it."

Photo credit: WENN.com
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