Oprah’s Next Chapter (3/4/12) includes cooking with Paula Deen as well as an exclusive interview to talk about some personal issues. Will Oprah get to Paula Deen’s health problems (diabetes) in addition to her affair with a married man which lasted for more than a decade? This is what happened tonight when Oprah and Gayle King spent some time with the “Queen of Southern Cuisine” in her home in Savannah, Georgia~
Brandon, Paula’s assistant, worked for more than a month preparing the Deen house for the visitors. Oprah and Gayle arrive with arms full of hydrangeas from Oprah’s garden in California. The show gives some biographical information about Paula Deen’s career which includes her childhood of living behind a gas station to the death of her mother and father just years apart when she was just barely 20 years old. She married Jimmy Deen, a mechanic, to whom she remained married for more than two decades through which she dealt with panic attacks and agoraphobia, a fear of leaving the home. Paula Deen’s $300 million empire grew from grim beginnings of a home delivery service to a restaurant she runs with her two sons.
Gayle immediately starts eating once she arrives and doesn’t seem to stop until Paula takes the guests to individual cottages for the night. Oprah asks Deen if she feels safe in her current living situation and she states no because she never wants to forget where she came from and not taking her lifestyle for granted.
The next morning, Deen, Oprah, and Gayle all go out to the pond dressed in nightwear to fish for catfish. It is like watching three old hicks fishing for crayfish…hilarious! One thing is for certain, all of them need to lose some serious weight! Oprah manages to catch a fairly good-sized catfish which she pulls on to the grass and Paula Deen unhooks it and throws it back at the request of her guest. Next, they head to the chicken coop where they retrieve two eggs before heading to the boathouse for breakfast. In the boathouse, Paula tells Oprah about her young life and when she realized the problem feared was death and once she accepted the death of her parents as well as not being in control of the deaths of those she loved, she was “cured” of the agoraphobia and started a new life at the age of 41.
They head to the backyard where Paula has purchased a bungee machine for her grandson which Oprah tries out followed by Paula who is strapped in with pants on in her nightgown. I am telling you, the sight was as awful as it sounds. They were talking about peeing their pants, these three old, overweight but highly successful women and you just prayed they were wearing Depends!
Afterwards, the entire family sits down for a Southern brunch with Paula’s favorite…fried EVERYTHING! There was fried catfish, fried chicken, and fried green tomatoes along with shrimp and several desserts. At the table, they talked about how her sons are a major part of her success and her fear has always been never wanting her family to worry about eating which has driven her to work as hard as she does. There was discussion about her divorce and the ten year affair with a married man before meeting her current husband of seven years, Michael Groover. There was, however, no mention of her health problems with diabetes and she never once pulled out a cigarette.
Tune in next week when Oprah talks to the family of Whitney Houston including her grieving daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. Will there be a mention of Whitney’s relationship with Jermaine Jackson? Who knows but CMR will be there to bring you the details!
Image courtesy of OWN