In the wake of a lawsuit and a disclosure that she has used racially offensive language in the past, Smithfield Foods has announced that it has severed ties with celebrity chef Paula Deen. Deen has been under fire after a lawsuit from an employee accused her of discrimination.

Keira Lombardo, Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications, has issued a statement that says:

"Smithfield condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind. Therefore, we are terminating our partnership with Paula Deen. Smithfield is determined to be an ethical food industry leader and it is important that our values and those of our spokespeople are properly aligned."

Deen has been partnered with Smithfield to promote the brand since September of 2006.

Source: USA Today