June 26, 2013 - Paula Deen Today Show EMOTIONAL!! FULL Interview w/ Matt Lauer
The folksy Southern cooking queen tearfully took to NBC "Today" show Wednesday for the first time to talk about the racism scandal that has rocked her cooking empire. She said that she is in "somewhat in a state of shock" over what she said has been "hurtful lies said about me."
Asked by host Matt Lauer whether she was a racist, Deen said, "No, I'm not."
"If there's anyone out there that has never said something that they wished they could take back, if you're out there, people pick up that stone and throw it so hard that it kills me," Deen said near the end of her interview.
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In the wake of revelations that Deen admitted to having used the N-word in the past, the Food Network has cut ties with Deen and a spokesperson for Smithfield Foods also distanced itself from her. The home shopping channel QVC said it was reviewing its business relationship with her.
Deen stressed that her "Today" appearance was not intented to stop the financial bleeding, saying that she wanted people to "know who I am."
"Would I have fired me? Knowing me, no," she said.
Deen, 66, was originally slated to appear on "Today" last Friday amid the height of the N-word controversy sparked by a deposition in a court case, but canceled last minute.
She posted two online video apologies hours later begging for forgiveness from her fans for having used racial slurs.
In one of the YouTube videos, Deen apologized to Lauer for having been "physically unable" to make the "Today" interview.
Deen has been under fire since a former manager of a Savannah, Ga., restaurant owned by Deen and her brother filed a $1.2 million lawsuit against the pair. Lisa Jackson claimed she was sexually harassed by Bubba Hiers and that Deen used the N-word around her.
"Yes, of course," Deen said in the May 17 deposition of having used the slur, adding, "It's been a very long time."
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