Paula Deen: ‘I Beg for Your Forgiveness’
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — After pulling out of a planned appearance on Friday’s Today show, embattled celebrity cook Paula Deen now has released a video message begging for forgiveness for her past use of the N-word.
As previously reported, Deen is said to have testified during a deposition in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against her, that she’d uttered the racial slur in 1986, when she was working as a bank teller and after she’d been held at gunpoint by a black robber. She indicated that it was probably not the only time in her life she has said the N-word.
“I wanna apologize to everybody for the wrong that I’ve done,” says Deen in the message. “I wanna learn and grow from this. Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable.”
“I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way, but I beg you, my children, my team, my fans, my partners, I beg for your forgiveness,” Deen goes on to say. “Please forgive me for the mistakes that I’ve made.”
Paula Deen Enterprises had previously released a statement explaining that during her deposition, the 66-year-old chef had been “speaking largely about a time in American history which was quite different than today,” adding, “She was born 60 years ago when America’s South had schools that were segregated, different bathrooms, different restaurants and Americans rode in different parts of the bus. This is not today.”
The Food Network, which airs a couple of shows starring Deen, said in its own statement that it is monitoring the situation. It also notes, “Food Network does not tolerate any form of discrimination and is a strong proponent of diversity and inclusion.”
Deen’s deposition was related to a 2012 sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Deen and her brother by a former employee of Deen’s Savannah, Georgia restaurant.
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