Paula Deen, the southern comfort celebrity chef, admitted to using the N-word in the past, but claimed to have removed the racial slur from her vocablurlary while being questioned in a discrimination lawsuit last month, reported CNN.

Deen, 66, was accused of racial discrimination by Lisa Jackson, a former manager at her Savannah restaurant Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House. Jackson, who is white, is also suing Deen's brother and co-owner of the restaurant, Bubba Hiers. In the May deposition, Deen was subjected to intense questioning regarding her racial attitude and prejudices by Jackson’s lawyer.

When asked about whether or not she’s ever used the N-word before, Deen said, “Yes, of course,” before adding, “It’s been a very long time.” Asked to give examples of when she’s used the derogatory name, The Food Network star referenced a bank robbery she experienced when she worked as a teller. She suggested she used the slur when describing the robber, who was black, to her husband. She also admitted to probably using the slur with black employees, though she failed to provide specific examples.

“That’s just not a word that we use as time has gone on,” Deen explained. “Things have changed since the ‘60s in the South. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do.”


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Deen’s attorney William Franklin defended his client in a statement, saying, “Contrary to media reports, Mrs. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable.”

Deen has recently been waging a comeback since her fall from grace in 2012 when the public learned she’d been suffering from Type-2 diabetes, while promoting unhealthy eating on her Food Network programs. This release of the disposition transcript is likely to make her climb back into good graces a bit more difficult.

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