The longtime publicist for a TV chef has resigned from her position amid a controversy over a drug endorsement, the New York Post reports.
Nancy Assuncao, who has been Paula Deen’s publicist for six years, apparently quit over Deen’s deal with the diabetes drug Victoza.
A source told the publication that Assuncao “strongly disagreed with Deen’s dramatic turnabout, after years of promoting fatty foods, to announcing she has a deal with a diabetes drug company [Novo Nordisk] and will be promoting lighter food and ‘diabetes in a new light.’”
The source added: “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.”
Deen kept her Type 2 diabetes diagnosis a secret from the public for three years, before revealing it last week, as previously reported.
Assuncao said in a statement, “I’m very grateful for the six years that I worked with Paula in helping her build the Deen brand. Although we had a great deal of fun along the way, I could not agree with the new business strategy going forward. Nonetheless, I wish them continued success.”