Gina Neely is one of our favorite celebrity chefs, thanks to her series Down Home with the Neelys. But what you might not know is that she got her start in show biz thanks to a very famous culinary family: the Deens.
Yes, Paula Deen's sons Jamie and Bobby Deen first discovered Gina and her then-husband Pat Neely, and they eventually took over their series Road Tasted. Gina opened up about her current relationship with Paula on Wednesday night's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen and revealed that she hasn't spoken to the celebrity chef since the 2013 controversy surrounding her discrimination lawsuit and her use of a racial slur. "I think it's her timing. That's when she grew up. So I sort of understand," Gina said of the incident. "But at the same time, we still need some diversity training, and I had mentioned that to them many months before."
The To Rome for Love bachelorette also told The Daily Dish in a recent interview that it seemed as though Paula "just stepped back" after the scandal broke out. "I didn't really take it to heart because I think people are just mimicking what they know and what they've seen. I didn't really take it in a deep sense, like she would mean it in a negative way. I personally didn't because I've talked with Paula and we've had conversations," Gina explained. "However, I think that she needed some diversity training for when she wasn't in front of the camera because things that I may share with you and laugh and joke about, that's not for the whole world to know or see. So I think just in balancing that, she had some issues with that."
— Additional reporting by Macy Daniela Martin
Gina made her return to TV this year on To Rome for Love, which airs Sundays at 9/8c. Check out a preview of Sunday's all-new episode, which includes her birthday celebration, Italian style, below.
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