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Paula Deen

I've Used the N-Word

... But I'm NOT Racist

6/19/2013 11:22 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

11:52 AM PT -- Paula's rep issued a statement to TMZ ... saying, "Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable. She is looking forward to her day in court.”  

When Paula Deen was asked, under oath, if she has ever used the N-word -- she responded, "Yes, of course" ... and the shocking admission was all captured on tape.

Deen was being deposed in connection with a pending sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee who claims she was subjected to a barrage of racist, sexist and generally inappropriate comments while she worked at Paula's Oyster House restaurant in Georgia.

Here are the highlights from the jaw-dropping depo:

Lawyer: Have you ever used the N-word yourself?
Paula: Yes, of course.

Lawyer: Okay. In what context?
Paula: Well, it was probably when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head.

Sidenote -- Paula was held up at gunpoint during a bank robbery in 1986.

Lawyer: Okay. And what did you say?
Paula: 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?
Paula: Absolutely not.

Lawyer: Well, then, when did you use it?
Paula: Probably in telling my husband.

Lawyer: Okay. Have you used it since then?
Paula: 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?
Paula: No.

Lawyer: Has it occurred with sufficient frequency that you cannot recall all of the various context in which you've used it?
Paula: No, no.

Lawyer: Well, then tell me the other context in which you've used the N-word?
Paula: I don't know, maybe in repeating something that was said to me.

Lawyer: Like a joke?
Paula: 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.

We reached out to Paula for comment -- so far, no word back.



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Previous 15 Comments | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20

greg lam    

they are trying to bring this poor woman down with the damn PC police and the nasty left in this country..... She is an amazing woman that has worked hard to build an empire..... and they make her out like trash. its completely ridiculous and shouldn't even be a story. Get real, no one is offended....

451 days ago


The double standard is disgusting!! Reverse racism is rampant! The idea that it is okay for a person to be able to use or not use a word because of their race, is RACIST!!

450 days ago


The double standard is disgusting!! Reverse racism is rampant! The idea that it is okay for a person to be able to use or not use a word because of their race, is RACIST!!

450 days ago


All of us black, white, brown, yellow, red Americans should stop using the N word, including rappers!! Paula should shut up and go home! We have heard enough. By the way,where is Oprah?? No comment from her?? The fact is most of us at some point have used the N word!! Get over it! We should be this concerned about crime, drugs, wars as we are about this woman. Forget about her! She hasn't killed anyone. She is just a ignorant woman! She Ain't changing after 60 years!!!

449 days ago

deborah terranova    

DEAR PALA DEAN...I WATCH YOUR COOKING SHOW ALL THE TIME,,, I KNOW DEEP IN MY HEAR THAT YOU DIDN'T USE T '' N '' word in racist way... I miss watching you and I hope you're able to cook and share your fun and easy cooking show again. it's not the same without you. your fan, Deborah terranova

411 days ago


When I was young (an unfortunately long time ago), the N word was used by my parents generation, often in jokes ... but they used words like Polack, Dago, etc. then also ... AND they were often of that ethnic persuasion. They also told lots of ethnic jokes, with their ethnicity or that of their wive's or husband's being the but of the joke. The N word was used without any emotional malice, though it was an ethnic type of slur (as were the above commentaries). I used it a couple of times but never felt comfortable with it for some reason and, of course, stopped totally when I went to college and worked in the Civil Rights and Vietnam War Movement. Today, I nearly gag to even use the word as a descriptive or in repeating a story of it's use. However, under oath, my answers would not have been much different that Paula's. Just because you used a racial descriptive when a bit ignorant as to the emotional content it doesn't make you a "racist," an unusual term in that it is inherent in all of us to recognize those not like ourselves. It is atavistic and I'd rather work with some who is a bit of a racist but knows it and works to avoid it being an issue in personal and business relationships than in those "closet racists" who claim to be egalitarian but then are practicing racists. Paula may be sensitive to racial differences (she grew up in the South for chrissakes) but that doesn't make her a racist in spirit, even if it is a bit ingrained.

403 days ago
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