Paula Deen told Matt Lauer on the Today show Wednesday morning that she only used the N-word once 30 years ago and that she's still not quite sure if it's offensive to African-Americans.
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Last week a leaked deposition in a discrimination lawsuit revealed Deen's use of racial slurs. Shortly thereafter, Food Network announced it was not going to renew Deen's contract, and in the days following, other companies cut ties with the celebrity chef.
On Wednesday, Deen explained that she used the racial slur after being held up at gunpoint years ago, Lauer read a statement from Deen's deposition that said, "I can't myself determine what offends another person." Then, Lauer asked, "Do have any doubt in your mind that African-Americans are offended by the N-word?"
"I don't know, Matt," she answered. "I have asked myself that so many times because it's very distressing for me to go into my kitchen and I hear what these young people are calling each other. Very, very distressing. For this problem to be worked on, 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."
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When asked if she regrets telling the truth in that deposition, Deen sobbed and said, "No. There are a couple kinds of people that I don't like, that I'm prejudiced against: thieves and liars. ... I have apologized and I have never hurt anyone with any intention, and I never would."
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Finally, Deen added that she's not the first person to say something mean and later regret it. "If there's anyone ever that has never said something they wish they could take back, please pick up that stone so hard it kills me," she said. "I want to meet you."
What do you think of Deen's interview? Watch below:
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