Nightly News   |  June 21, 2013

Paula Deen dropped from Food Network

After admitting to having used racial slurs in the past, celebrity chef Paula Deen apologized and asked for forgiveness. But the Food Network, which made her a star, has announced it will not renew her contract when it expires at the end of this month. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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>>> in the world of food, especially now that food is such a big part of television, she is a household name. paula deen , is the celebrity chef , a fixture on the tv cooking circuit. but tonight she has lost her job at the food network after she admitted in a lawsuit that she had used racial slurs in the past. today she tried to limit the damage, but it was apparently too late. our report tonight from nbc's katie couric .

>> today is all about spices.

>> reporter: the self-proclaimed queen of southern cooking, paula deen is boast moan for her over-the-top concoctions.

>> so delicious.

>> reporter: but today the celebrity chef put away her recipes and went to work defending her reputation. more contrite than charming southern host.

>> -- inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable.

>> reporter: in a 45-second edited video posted on youtube, the food network star responded to fierce criticism after she admitted to using racial slurs in the past.

>> i beg for your forgiveness.

>> reporter: she was apologizing for comments she made in a legal deposition. dean and her brother are being sued for discrimination by a former employee who is white. they deny the claims. in the deposition, the 66-year-old is asked if she's ever used the "n" word. she answered yes, of course. adding it was to describe a black man who put a gun to my head while she was working as a bank employee. when asked? if she's used it since then, she said i'm sure i have, but it's been a very long time. this morning she was supposed to be here at the "today" show so explain her comments but she never showed up.

>> early this morning we are hearing she is too xaulsed to show up and so she is not with us.

>> reporter: this afternoon, deen replaced the first video with a second unedited version.

>> offer my sincere apologies to those that i have hurt. and i hope that you forgive me.

>> reporter: late today the food network announced lit not renew paula deen 's contract when it expires at the end of this month.

>> she can come back. in fact, anyone can come back, but it is very difficult. you must have a repentant heart. you must change your behavior. you must be consistent. and you must be believable.

>> reporter: paula deen 's business empire is worth an estimated $17 million and includes 14 cookbooks, six restaurants, a bimonthly magazine with a million readers, merchandise, and endorsement deals. nbc news, new york.