A couple of years ago, I went to Paula Deen's restaurant in Savannah. We were talking with the staff about some of the photos on the wall; and there was one with a younger Paula and a black woman at what appeared to be the opening of the restaurant. It was explained to us that was Paula's partner who helped her start it all; I wish I could remember her name, but I can't seem to find any mention of it online.
In any case, the staffer noted how the two had a falling out when Paula became famous. Paula didn't bring her partner along.