Disgraced celebrity cook Paula Deen on Wednesday explained her use of racial slurs by saying that she was prejudiced against “thieves and liars.”
After skipping out on an interview with NBC’s Today Show on Friday, Deen finally appeared on Wednesday and cried throughout the 14-minute interview, but without a single visible tear appearing on her face.
“I believe that every creature on this Earth, every one of God’s creatures was created equal,” she told host Matt Lauer. “No matter who you choose to go to bed at night with, no matter what church you go to pray, I believe that everyone should be treated equal. And that’s the way I was raised. And that’s the way that I lived my life.”
Although Deen swore in a deposition that she had used the n-word and wished for a slavery-themed wedding, she insisted on Wednesday that she was not a racist.
“The day I used that word it was a world ago, years ago,” she said. “I had had a gun put to my head, a shaking gun because the man that had the gun to my head, unbeknowning [sic] to me was my customer at the main [bank] office.”
The former Food Network host added: “There’s a couple of kinds of people that I don’t like that I am prejudiced against, Matt, and that’s thieves and liars.”
“And I know as well as I’m sitting here with you, I know how I treat people, I know my love for people, and I’m not going to sit here and tell everything that I have done for people of color. I’m not going to do it. Somebody else can tell that.”
Deen insisted that she had “wonderful support” from people like Rev. Jesse Jackson and then ended with a final plea.
“I tell you what, if there’s anyone out there that has never said something that they wished that that they could take back, if you’re out there, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me,” she said. “I is what I is, and I’m not changing. And there’s someone evil out there that had saw what I had worked for, and they wanted it.”
Watch this video from NBC’s Today Show, broadcast June 26, 2013.