Celebrity chef Paula Deen begged the American public for forgiveness Friday after revelations that she used the N-word.
UDPATED 4:53pm ET
Celebrity chef Paula Deen begged for forgiveness in a video released Friday after the disclosure that she used the N-word.
“I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong that I’ve done,” she said in a video statement that was briefly posted to YouTube and quickly removed. “I want to learn and grow from this.”
“Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable,” she continued. ”I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way, but I beg you, my children, my team, my fans, my partners, I beg for your forgiveness. Please forgive me for the mistakes that I’ve made.”
In a second video released shortly the first was removed, she address her decision to skip a scheduled appearance on the Today Show.
“Hello y’all. I’m Paula Deen. I was invited this morning to speak with Matt Lauer about a subject that has been very hurtful for a lot of people, and Matt, I have to say. I was physically not able this morning. The pain has been tremendous that I have caused to myself and to others. And so I’m taking this opportunity, now that I’ve pulled myself together and am able to speak, to offer an apology to those I have hurt. I want people to understand that my family and I are not the kind of people that the press is wanting to say we are. I spent the best of 24 years to help myself and others. Your color of your skin, your religion, your sexual preference does not matter to me, but it’s what in the heart — what’s in the heart, and my family and I try to live by that. And I am here to say I am so sorry. I was wrong. Yes, I’ve worked hard and I’ve made mistakes but that is no excuse, and I offer my sincere apology to those that I have hurt, and I hope that you forgive me because this comes from the deepest part of my heart. And I will continue to work and continue to do good things for good people. Thank you for listening.”
Deen had been the subject of intense public criticism since the transcript of a legal deposition released this week revealed Deen admitting to using a racial slur.
The deposition came as part of a lawsuit against Deen in which a former restaurant manager, Lisa Jackson, has sued Deen and her brother for sexual and racial workplace discrimination. During the questioning, Deen admitted to having used the N-word, and revealed her desire to throw what she described as a “true southern plantation-style wedding,” for her brother’s nuptials.
She also said in the deposition that that “most jokes” are about Jews, gay people, black people and “rednecks.”
Deen also insisted in the deposition that in spite of her use of the slur, which she claims she had not used in years, neither she nor her brother “care what the color of your skin is” or what gender a person is, she said. “It’s what’s in your heart and in your head that matters to us.”
Late Friday, the Food Network released the following statement: ”Food Network will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of this month.”