Celebrity cook Paula Deen took to the airwaves Wednesday to give emotional testimony on NBC's "Today" show and fight back against charges that she's racist.
With a quivering voice, Miss Deen answered host Matt Lauer's query about her alleged racism: "No, I'm not."
She said most people have pasts that include statements they wish they could retract, and that she's shocked at the "lies" about her that have gathered steam in recent days, leading to her loss of contracts with the Food Network and Smithfield Foods. Home shopping channel QVC, meanwhile, is reviewing its relationship with her, NBC said.
"If there's anyone out there that has never said something that they wished they could take back, if you're out there, people pick up that stone and throw it so hard that it kills me," she said toward the end of the segment, NBC reported.
Miss Deen's sons, meanwhile, made the media circuit a day earlier, calling the recent charges of racism against their mother unfounded and pure "extortion," various media reported.
Miss Deen, 66, is facing a court suit over charges of racism in two of her restaurants. Court documents related to that case indicated Miss Deen admitted to using the "N-word" years ago.
Her exact words, in response to whether she's ever used that slur: "Yes, or course. It's been a very long time."
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