Bubba Hiers, brother of Paula Deen, dies of cancer at 65

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Bubba Hiers, who helped his celebrity sister Paula Deen expand her Savannah restaurant during her rise to fame, has died at age 65.

Funeral home owner Ed Gamble confirmed Hiers died Thursday from cancer.

Hiers sold his landscaping business and moved to Savannah in 2000 to help Deen with her restaurant, The Lady & Sons. She credited her brother with helping grow the business after the Food Network made Deen famous for deep-fried cuisine.

Hiers opened Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House with Deen’s assistance in 2004 and he published a 2007 cookbook.

But a lawsuit by a former Uncle Bubba’s manager took a heavy toll. The Food Network dropped Deen in 2013 after she admitted in a legal deposition to using racial slurs in the past. Uncle Bubba’s closed months later.

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