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Paula Deen in Crisis

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Last Sunday Paula Deen was able to carve out a brief moment of joy, celebrating the christening of her stepdaughter’s baby girl near the Savannah home she shares with husband Michael Groover.

“The subject of the sermon was stand strong. She felt like it was a message,” says a source close to the family. During the service, “when Paula went to pray with the minister, he said, ‘We’re behind you,'” adds a Deen pal. “She got emotional.”

Since the Food Network announced it was severing ties with Deen – after she admitted in a deposition released on June 19 that she had used the N-word (see box in magazine) – the shamed TV chef has needed all the support she can get.

She has been “beyond devastated,” says a producer friend of Deen’s. “She can hardly put one foot in front of the other.”

The 66-year-old was not prepared for the fallout.