In an emotional “Today” show interview Wednesday a teary Paula Deen said she’s not racist, despite the deposition that revealed she used racial slurs in the past.
The celebrity chef told host Matt Lauer she was fortunate for the companies that have stuck by the deep-fried- and butter-loving celebrity chef.
So far, Food Network and Smithfield Foods cut their ties to Deen, followed by Wal-Mart and Home Depot. This was her first television interview since the Food Network canceled her show
“Would I have fired me, knowing me? No,” she said. “I'm so fortunate that so many of my partners, that know who I am, have decided to stand by me.”
Deen has been losing lucrative endorsement and business deals after she admitted during a discrimination lawsuit that she said had used a racial slur for blacks and had planned a "Southern plantation-style" wedding.
When Lauer asked her if she was a racist, Deen replied, “No.”
She added that she had only used the word once, 30 years ago, and denied using it again, saying it's just not a part of who we are," she said.
“I can truthfully say in my life I have never with any intention, hurt anybody on purpose and I never would,” she said.