Paula Deen Says She Is Not a Racist on Today Show

The celebrity chef says she may have used the n-word in repeating Black employees at her restaurant.

Posted: 06/26/2013 09:44 AM EDT

In a continued effort to redeem herself, celebrity chef Paula Deen appeared on the Today show Wednesday for an interview about the controversy surrounding racist comments she made in a video. 

Deen is under fire for saying she wanted her heir to have a wedding with Black slaves after going to a previous event that had an all-Black wait staff. 

"I did not mean anything derogatory by saying I loved their look and their professionalism," she said.

Deen denied being a racist and admitted to using the n-word, but had a faint memory of the times in which she said it. She described using the word in a conversation with her husband about being robbed by a Black man 30 years ago. Deen said "it's been a very long time" since she used the word after the incident. 

The restaurant owner also said she may have used it in repeating talks between her Black employees, which she called "distressing" for her to hear.

"...I think for this problem to be worked on, that these young people are going to have to take control and start showing respect for each other and not throwing that word at each other. It makes my skin crawl," she added.

Deen ended the interview in tears and asked that anyone who never said something they regretted "to please pick up that stone and throw it as hard at my head so it kills me. I want to meet you."

There are also rumors that Deen has hired Judy Smith, the crisis public relations manager who inspired Kerry Washington’s character on ABC’s series Scandal, according to the New York Post


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(Photo: NBC)

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