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Laila Ali

I'm Still In Paula Deen's Corner

7/30/2013 3:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

073013_ali_launch
Paula Deen has a very powerful ally ... 'cause undefeated boxing champ Laila Ali tells TMZ she's still got Deen's back, even after the n-word controversy.

Right before Deen's kingdom came crumbling down, Laila joined Deen on the Food Network show "Paula's Best Dishes" back in April to cook up some Cloverleaf Rolls, Brussels sprouts, stewed beef and cheese grits.

Since her appearance, Deen has basically been branded a racist due to the fact she admitted using the N-word in private.

So, when Laila and her husband, former NFL star Curtis Conway, rolled into Malibu yesterday, we had to ask how she felt about the disgraced chef.

Considering how important her father is in the African American community ... and the respect he has among all Americans ... Laila's support could be a game changer in Paula's quest for redemption.

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
74 COMMENTS

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1.

Mary P    

Paula shouldn't even need redemption. This whole thing is ridiculous. She's fighting off a frivolous lawsuit and tells the truth and she's getting punished for words decades ago, while much of her charity work and many of her staff are not white. Disgusting what the world has come to with the racial divide being perpetuated by race profiteers.

413 days ago
2.

Arcadia Rink    

That's not quite what she said. She said she doesn't know that much about her except she is a good cook. Trust me, Laila Ali is one of the most outstanding African-American role models in the WORLD! I look up to her, her mother and her father. They are all good people.

413 days ago
3.

helen    

Look Paula deans cooking isn't something I would ever promote.. I do think she is a woman of her times. We all assume racists wore white robes and burned crosses but it took an enormous amount of regular folk to play along, accept that way of life and soak up the weird mentality. I believe her staff. I'm not condemning her but a while ago I watched a vid of her with her 'soul sisters' and it made me think of slaves and the history of America. Kinda made me feel sick. I don't think she's intentionally harmful, but consider her response to the whole thing that she saw slaves as 'family' and consider why she wouldn't see the aunt jermima ref and ringing the bell to be anything other than a link to 'good old fashioned southern hospitality'. Ppl assume racists are naturally bad.. I don't, some are misguided, uneducated fk wads who couldn't hack a minute of the biggotry others suffer.

413 days ago
4.

Greg    

What a travesty this great amazing woman is being put through this. Who cares she said the n word years ago. Blacks are the most racist of anyone, they hate whites more out of anyone.

413 days ago
5.

KellyH123    

I love Paula. Feel so bad about this crap! Black people are racists! I'm glad she called y'all ******s.

413 days ago
6.

CLINT    

TMZ loves to stir the race pot. Find the first black person and ask about Paula Deen. Let it rest TMZ. I think she's been put through the grinder enough for her choice in words.

413 days ago
7.

FROM HELL    

Sell out

413 days ago
8.

Harvey-SUX    

Follow the money, her books etc were clogging the warehouses unsold. What you're seeing is a distraction

413 days ago
9.

Bellaca    

Laila's opinion WON'T change minds, if that's what you're suggesting.

Paula Deen may not hate blacks, but she sure doesn't respect them.

It's still racism.

She obviously doesn't see black people as human enough to not call them "n-word" or advice her brother to do the same.

413 days ago
10.

Los Pepes    

Ive been called a honkey before
And I said
Hell yeah and proud of it
I then said,aren't you proud of who you are?
I got no response

413 days ago
11.

Vonn    

It doesn't matter who her father is. She, nor her father speak for the entire Black community. Non-black folks were offended by Paula as well. Both boxers have been punched in the head repeatedly. You have to take what they say with a grain of salt, or smelling salt.

413 days ago
12.

Dak    

Good for her! It's nice to see forgiveness and not all this LIBERAL BITTER GRUDGE HOLDING and race baiting like we've seen PLENTY of as of late. Strong girl! Bless her!

413 days ago
13.

mtc    

People are trying to make PD loosing endorsements about using n word in past but it is not. She is being sued by a past manager that stated there was "blatant" racism and sexual harassment in her business along with her brother. Each time this manager got PD involved be it someone called a derogative word or a female worker being "felt" up by her brother she laughed it off. She consistently said that's her brother being himself or nothing wrong with that word. She consistently paid white workers MORE than black workers even if they worked there longer these ppl were not making $10 but the new employee was making more thant $10. She has an OPEN case with EEOC where she had to provide back pay to those workers and pay them a decent salary.

This is not a witch hunt, her actions are her downfall, the sponsors saw the 3 pending lawsuits in federal court that was not thrown out so they cut their losses.

413 days ago
14.

Wellington     

Paula's old news. Move on.

413 days ago
15.

tereza    

Maybe Laila will dress up like Aunty Jemima for Miss Paula. Her Dad would be SO proud!

413 days ago
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