Celebrity chef Paula Deen is attempting a comeback, a year after her media empire crumbled following revelations in a deposition that she had used racial slurs.
"The most powerful thing" she has learned since her statements went public in June 2013 is "the power of words," Deen told Matt Lauer on the "Today" show Tuesday. "I don't care how old they are. Words are so powerful. They can hurt. They can make people happy. Well, my words hurt people. They disappointed people. And, frankly, I disappointed myself. And for that I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry for the hurt that I caused people because it went deep. . . . People lost their jobs."
Flanked by sons Jamie and Bobby Deen, her partners in the new online Paula Deen Network, the 67-year-old Georgia chef, cookbook author and TV personality said she understood why a host of companies dropped their endorsements and why Food Network fired her.
"I did [understand]," she told Lauer, "but I have to say it took me a while because I was confused as to the length of time [involved], since . . . those words had been part of a language. I had a hard time understanding, because it had been 30 years."
She lamented that a statement she released when a judge threw out the lawsuit from which the deposition came "got almost no attention."
Deen has purchased her various Food Network programs as content for her online venture, for which she has shot 100 new episodes.