Paula Deen appeared on Wednesday’s “Today Show” in her first interview since she was let go from the Food Network after admitting to using the N-word in a court deposition.
The celebrity chef, who last week canceled her scheduled sit-down with the show at the last minute, told Matt Lauer, “I’m here today because I want people to know who I am.”
Deen said she has used the N-word only once in her life and she’s “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 added.
Asked if she knew the N-word was offensive to black people, the chef offered, “I don’t know, I have asked myself that so many times,” noting, “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.”
Deen also told Lauer she’s “heartbroken” over the controversy and does not believe she should have been fired by the Food Network.
She then began crying as she told the audience that if there’s anyone out there who’s never said something they regretted, “Please take up that stone and throw it as hard as they can and kill me.”