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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • SpotlightSpotlightMore>>

  • Updated

    The Scrappers host “POPS at the Ballpark” featuring the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

    The Scrappers host “POPS at the Ballpark” featuring the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-04-15 18:04:57 GMT
    NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra are excited to host one of the Valley's premiere summer events, POPS at the Ballpark,More >>
    NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra are excited to host one of the Valley's premiere summer events, POPS at the Ballpark, presented by Stanley E. Shearer with Northwestern Mutual and 21 WFMJ on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at Eastwood Field.More >>
  • Around the WebMore>>

  • Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race

    Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race

    Police stepped up patrols near the Boston Marathon finish line after a masked man walked in the street with a rice cooker in his backpack only hours after the city marked the anniversary of last year's deadly...More >>
    The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week.More >>
  • Low of 19 degrees in Toledo breaks 139-year record

    Low of 19 degrees in Toledo breaks 139-year record

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:34:39 GMT
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Winter temperatures are refusing to go away in northwestern Ohio. The thermometer dropped to 19 degrees in Toledo Wednesday morning, breaking a 139-year-old record for the same dateMore >>
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Winter temperatures are refusing to go away in northwestern Ohio. The thermometer dropped to 19 degrees in Toledo Wednesday morning, breaking a 139-year-old record for the same dateMore >>
  • Break-in suspect rescued from Ohio restaurant vent

    Break-in suspect rescued from Ohio restaurant vent

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:26 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:26:35 GMT
    MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) - Police say an Ohio man suspected of breaking into a restaurant overnight became stuck in a ventilation duct, triggered a fire alarm and had to be rescued by emergency responders. TheMore >>
    MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) - Police say an Ohio man suspected of breaking into a restaurant overnight became stuck in a ventilation duct, triggered a fire alarm and had to be rescued by emergency responders. TheMore >>
  • 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