According to the National Enquirer, in a recent video taped deposition, cooking show host, author, diabetes laden and Emmy Award-winning television personality Paula Deen admits to using the N-word and making racist and anti-semitic jokes.
She apparently also expressed an interest in hiring black waiters and dressing them up to look like “slaves” at a wedding party she was planning.
The Enquirer suggests these revelations surfaced after one of Deen’s restaurant managers, Lisa Jackson, sued Deen for discrimination in a $1.2 million lawsuit.
The so-called confessions were disclosed in depositions from Deen and her brother Earl “Bubba” Hiers. The Enquirer reported that one source claimed this is only the tip of the iceberg.
“While Paula and Bubba did make some pretty damaging confessions in their depositions, what they admitted to only scratches the surface of what actually goes on in their daily lives,” said an insider.
Radar Online claims the Southern celebrity’s deposition lasted for three hours. When asked by Lisa’s Atlanta-based attorney if she’d ever used the N-word, Paula responded, “Yes, of course,” and gave examples.
On the subject of telling racist jokes, Paula said, “It’s just what they are — they’re jokes…most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks…I can’t determine what offends another person.”
Radar’s News Editor Amber Ryland points out that when asked if she wanted black men to play the role of slaves at a wedding she explained she got the idea from a restaurant her husband and her had dined at saying, “The whole entire waiter staff was middle-aged black men, and they had on beautiful white jackets with a black bow tie.
“I mean, it was really impressive. That restaurant represented a certain era in America…after the Civil War, during the Civil War, before the Civil War...It was not only black men, it was black women…I would say they were slaves.”
Ryland comments that during the deposition, Bubba also made shocking admissions, including using the N-word in reference to President Barack Obama.
A representative for Deen exclusively tells Entertainment Tonight, “Contrary to media reports, Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable. She is looking forward to her day in court.”
The Huffington Post obtained a transcript of the deposition. Part of the transcript is included below:
On using the N-word:
Lawyer: Have you ever used the N-word yourself?
Deen: Yes, of course.
Lawyer: Okay. In what context?
Deen: Well, it was probably when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head.
Lawyer: Okay. And what did you say?
Deen: Well, I don’t remember, but the gun was dancing all around my temple … I didn’t — I didn’t feel real favorable towards him.
Lawyer: Okay. Well, did you use the N-word to him as he pointed a gun in your head at your face?
Deen: Absolutely not.
Lawyer: Well, then, when did you use it?
Deen: Probably in telling my husband.
Lawyer: Okay. Have you used it since then?
Deen: I’m sure I have, but it’s been a very long time.
Lawyer: Can you remember the context in which you have used the N-word?
Lawyer: Has it occurred with sufficient frequency that you cannot recall all of the various context in which you’ve used it?
Deen: No, no.
Lawyer: Well, then tell me the other context in which you’ve used the N-word?
Deen: I don’t know, maybe in repeating something that was said to me.
Lawyer: Like a joke?
Deen: No, probably a conversation between blacks. I don’t — I don’t know. But that’s just not a word that we use as time has gone on. 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.
On her brother’s behavior:
Lawyer: Are you aware of Mr. Hiers admitting that he engaged in racially and sexually inappropriate behavior in the workplace?
Deen: I guess
Lawyer: Okay. Well, have you done anything about what you heard him admit to doing?
Deen: My brother and I have had conversations. My brother is not a bad person. Do humans behave inappropriately? At times, yes. I don’t know one person that has not. My brother is a good man. Have we told jokes? Have we said things that we should not have said, that — yes, we all have. We all have done that, every one of us.
On telling jokes that target African Americans, Jews, gays and other groups:
Lawyer: What about jokes, if somebody is telling a joke that’s got –
Deen: It’s just what they are, they’re jokes.
Lawyer: Okay. Would you consider those to be using the N word in a mean way?
Deen: That’s — that’s kind of hard. Most — most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks. Most jokes target — I don’t know. I didn’t make up the jokes, I don’t know. I can’t — I don’t know.
Deen: They usually target, though a group. Gays or straights, black, redneck, you know, I just don’t know. I can’t, myself, determine what offends another person.
On planning a Southern plantation-style wedding:
Lawyer: Do you recall using the words “really southern plantation wedding”?
Deen: Yes, I did say I would love for Bubba to experience a very southern style wedding, and we did that. We did that.
Lawyer: Okay. You would love for him to experience a southern style plantation wedding?
Lawyer: That’s what you said?
Deen: Well, something like that, yes. And -–
Laywer: Okay. And is that when you went on to describe the experience you had at the restaurant in question?
Deen: Well, I don’t know. We were probably talking about the food or –- we would have been talking about something to do with service at the wedding, and –-
Lawyer: Is there any possibility, in your mind, that you slipped and used the word “n—-r”?
Deen: No, because that’s not what these men were. They were professional black men doing a fabulous job.
Lawyer: Why did that make it a -– if you would have had servers like that, why would that have made it a really southern plantation wedding?
Deen: Well, it –- to me, of course I’m old but I ain’t that old, I didn’t live back in those days but I’ve seen the pictures, and the pictures that I’ve seen, that restaurant represented a certain era in America.
Deen: And I was in the south when I went to this restaurant. It was located in the south.
Lawyer: Okay. What era in America are you referring to?
Deen: Well, I don’t know. After the Civil War, during the Civil War, before the Civil War.
Lawyer: Right. Back in an era where there were middle-aged black men waiting on white people.
Deen: Well, it was not only black men, it was black women.
Lawyer: Sure. And before the Civil War –- before the Civil War, those black men and women who were waiting on white people were slaves, right?
Deen: Yes, I would say that they were slaves.
Deen: But I did not mean anything derogatory by saying that I loved their look and their professionalism.
UPDATE 6/21: Paula Deen apologizes for her “mistakes” after skipping a scheduled interview on NBC’s “Today” show this morning.
UPDATE 6/21: This just in, Food Network dumps Paula Deen after admitting to making racist comments “Food Network will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of this month,”