Celebrity chef Paula Deen couldn’t control her emotions as she addressed the n-word controversy that has surrounded her in the past few weeks on Wednesday’s TODAY show.
Deen has been under fire after she admitted on oath in a court deposition that she had used the n-word 30 years ago while talking to her husband about a black guy who robbed her on gunpoint. She has since been fired by the Food Network and a major pork company because of it.
But speaking to Matt Lauer on the show – her first interview after the news broke about the n-word – she said that she had used the word once and she is ‘not racist.’ ‘I know my love for people, and I’m not going to sit here and tell everything I’ve done for people of color,’ she said.
When Matt asked her whether she knew that the word was offensive to blacks, she replied, ‘I don’t know, I have asked myself that so many times … I go into my kitchens and hear what these young people are calling each other … I think for this problem to be worked on these young people are gonna have to take control and start showing respect for each other.’
She also admitted that she was ‘heartbroken’ by the controversy and believes that she did not deserve to be fired by the Food Network.
At a point, the emotions became too overwhelming and she started crying, saying as she wept, ‘If there’s anyone out there that has never said something that they wish they could take back … please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me. It’s what I [am] and I’m not changing.’
Watch the interview below.
[Image via AP]