Paula Deen's 'Today' appearance ends in tears - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Paula Deen's 'Today' appearance ends in tears

Posted: Updated:

NEW YORK (AP) - Paula Deen dissolved into tears during a "Today" show interview Wednesday about her admission that she used a racial slur in the past, saying anyone in the audience who's never said anything they've regretted should pick up a rock and throw it at her head.

The celebrity chef, who had backed out of a "Today" interview last Friday, said she wasn't a racist and was heartbroken by the controversy that began with her own deposition in a lawsuit. Deen has been dropped by the Food Network and as a celebrity endorser by Smithfield Foods.

"I've had to hold friends in my arms while they've sobbed because they know what's been said about me is not true and I'm having to comfort them," she said.

Deen told Lauer she could only recall using the "n-word" once. She had earlier said that she remembered using it when retelling a story about when she was held at gunpoint by a robber who was black while working as a bank teller in the 1980s in Georgia. In a deposition for the lawsuit involving an employee in a restaurant owned by Deen and her brother, she had said she may also have used the slur when recalling conversations between black employees at her restaurants.

Looking distressed and her voice breaking, Deen said if there was someone in the audience who had never said something they wished they could take back, "please pick up that stone and throw it as hard at my head so it kills me. I want to meet you. I want to meet you.

"I is what I is and I'm not changing," she said. "There's someone evil out there that saw what I worked for and wanted it."

An uncomfortable Lauer tried to end the interview, but Deen repeated that anyone who hasn't sinned should attack her.

Deen said she appreciated fans who have expressed anger at the Food Network for dropping her, but said she didn't support a boycott of the network.

"These people who have met me and know me and love me, they're as angry as the people who are reading these stories that are lies," she said.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • Fired band director says he fixing vulgar culture

    Fired band director says he fixing vulgar culture

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:34 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:34:18 GMT
    The fired Ohio State University marching band director says he was working to change its sexualized culture when he was dismissed.More >>
    The fired Ohio State University marching band director says he was working to change its sexualized culture when he was dismissed.
    More >>
  • Ohio theme park tries to top shaved-heads record

    Ohio theme park tries to top shaved-heads record

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:27 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:27:36 GMT
    MASON, Ohio (AP) - A southwestern Ohio amusement park will try to top a Guinness record for the most heads shaved simultaneously to help raise awareness and money to fight cancer. Kings Island says more than 200 hair stylists from Great Clips salons in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Lima and Toledo will shave heads Friday at the park north of Cincinnati. The Guinness World Records website says the current record at 182 heads shaved simultaneously was achieved by Cancer Council ACT-...More >>
    MASON, Ohio (AP) - A southwestern Ohio amusement park will try to top a Guinness record for the most heads shaved simultaneously to help raise awareness and money to fight cancer. Kings Island says more than 200 hair stylists from Great Clips salons in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Lima and Toledo will shave heads Friday at the park north of Cincinnati. The Guinness World Records website says the current record at 182 heads shaved simultaneously was achieved by Cancer Council ACT-...More >>
  • Hundreds of pet rats rescued from Ohio apartment

    Hundreds of pet rats rescued from Ohio apartment

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:23 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:23:19 GMT
    KETTERING, Ohio (AP) - Humane Society workers have rescued hundreds of pet rats from an apartment in suburban Dayton apparently left after the renter was evicted. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton found as many as 300 so-called "fancy" or "pocket" pet rats in the studio apartment in Kettering after responding to a complaint Thursday morning. Humane Society official Sheila Marquis tells the Dayton Daily News the animals make great pets for children but breed rapidly if they aren't spayed a...More >>
    KETTERING, Ohio (AP) - Humane Society workers have rescued hundreds of pet rats from an apartment in suburban Dayton apparently left after the renter was evicted. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton found as many as 300 so-called "fancy" or "pocket" pet rats in the studio apartment in Kettering after responding to a complaint Thursday morning. Humane Society official Sheila Marquis tells the Dayton Daily News the animals make great pets for children but breed rapidly if they aren't spayed a...More >>
  • 21 News Alerts

    Get breaking news, high school football scores and the latest contest and event news from 21 WFMJ.

    * denotes required fields



    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms