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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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EVERYONE at the TMZ offices have used the word. So?

499 days ago


Put ANY person on a stand and ask if they spoken hatefully about a white or mexican or other race and 100% have... I assure you.

499 days ago

Theresa Q    

Stop the freaking presses! If you can find one American over the age of 40 who has never used that word I'll kiss your ass. If they say they haven't, it's a lie. Of course, it's a bad word and hopefully will die out completely soon. She is being honest!

499 days ago

Richard Clark    


499 days ago


I'm sure it was used as much as butter in her house.

499 days ago


Paula will always be my N word

499 days ago


It's only a word. I've never used it. To be honest, the only time I've ever heard the N word be used is when some of my black friends are speaking with each other! "That's my N right there!" "N please." "Yo N."... If you don't want others to use it, don't use it yourself.

499 days ago



499 days ago

Cirrus Unicus    

She was being honest. If she had said that she's never said it, I'd say that she was full of crap. We've all had moments where we're not at our best. Just admit it and strive to be better.

499 days ago


Here is the thing, if people don't want the word to be used, how about the Blacks stop using the word themselves? How in the hell can you expect the rest of the world, especially whites to stop using it when you use it towards each other?

499 days ago


what kind of questioning is that? youd be hard pressed to find anyone over the age of 50 that hasnt said it at least once in their life... under 50 and over 20....... , I am sure they have read it out loud at some point. no one with half a brain uses it now though,

499 days ago


Paula's Best Dishes is #1 trend on twitter, Paula is so done. There is some hilariously offensive tweets going around

499 days ago


I have to at least commend her for being honest about that despite it being damaging to her case. She's a 60-something who grew up in the deep south. It may not be right, but it's certainly not shocking.

499 days ago


her career is over.

499 days ago


lets be real who hasnt used the word? white black hispanic and so on.i believe everyone has used it at one point in their life.if you say no then you are a liar

499 days ago
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