Paula Deen SACKED from Food Network hours after she makes grovelling
apology over racial slurs and begs the public for forgiveness
- Paula Deen under fire earlier this week when a lawsuit revealed she used racial slurs and wanted a ‘plantation-style’ wedding
- Deen admits to using ‘N-word’ and wanting black men dressed as slaves
- Due to appear on the Today show but pulls out of appearance at the last minute
- Hours later uploads a heavily-edited, grovelling video-apology
- Takes down video and uploads a longer one, rambling about her mistakes and apologizing again
- The Food Network announce Deen’s contract won’t be renewed at the end of the month
- Net worth of $17million from TV series, restaurants, cookbooks, kitchenware, cooking magazine and flavored butters
Celebrity chef Paula Deen was today sacked from her job at the Food Network despite begging the public for forgiveness over her past use of racial slurs in a heavily-edited video apology.
A Food Network spokesman issued this statement today: ‘Food Network will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of this month.’
Deen currently has three regular shows on the network, including Paula’s Best Dishes.
It came just hours after she released the 45-second video in which she says: ‘I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong I have done. I want to learn and grow from this.
‘Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable. I have made plenty of mistakes along the way but I beg you, my children, my fans, my team, my partners, I beg for your forgiveness.
‘Please forgive me for the mistakes that I’ve made.’
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Sued: TV chef Paula Deen (left) and her brother Bubba Hiers (right) have been accused of sexual harassment and racism in a lawsuit filed by a former employee of their co-owned restaurant
The 66-year-old was due to appear on the Today show this morning to to answer questions from Matt Lauer about the racial slurs – but she pulled out just before the show started.
Later that day she announced on her Twitter page that she would be releasing a video statement soon.
After the initial video was released another, longer one was then posted on YouTube and was taken down soon after.
In this one she explains her absence from the Today show and apologizes ‘to those that I have hurt’.
She says: ‘I was invited to speak to Matt Lauer about a subject that has been very hurtful for a lot of people.
‘Matt I was physically not able this morning, the pain has been tremendous that I have caused to myself and to others so I am taking this opportunity, now that i have pulled myself together and am able to speak, to offer an apology for those I’ve hurt.
‘My family and I are not the kind of people who the press say we are. I’ve spent the best of 24 years helping myself and others.
‘The color of your skin, your religion, your sexual preference doesn’t matter to me. It’s what is in the heart and my family and I try to live by that.
‘I am so sorry, I was wrong, 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.
‘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.’
The no-show came after she was found in contempt of court in a $1.2million sexual harassment lawsuit for refusing to turn over a reel of ‘obscene and vulgar video outtakes’ in which she is said to cuss up a storm and simulate a sex act on a chocolate eclair.
Lisa Jackson is suing the Food Network star and her brother Earl ‘Bubba’ Heirs amid claims she was routinely exposed to racist slurs and sexual harassment while managing Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House in Savannah, Georgia.
She also performs a sex act on a chocolate eclair and says: ‘My a** ain’t pretty no more,’ according to court documents obtained by RadarOnline.
Deen had previously appealed the court’s decision and wouldn’t produce the tape until her appeal was heard.
On May 8, the 66-year-old chef and her co-defendants were ordered to turn it over so that Jackson could use it as part of her litigation. But they did not do this until they were found in contempt.
Jackson’s lawyer Matthew Billips told Radar the defendants simply ignored requests to produce the instant video but these requests were ignored and often they didn’t even bother to respond.
Jackson claims Bubba sexually harassed her for five years, frequently used the ‘n-word’, referred to President Obama as a ‘n*gger’ and watched pornography on work computers.
Deen admitted this week to using the N-word and wanting to plan a ‘plantation-style wedding’ with black waiters dressed like slaves.
The queen of Southern cuisine also revealed she referred to an underage waitress as a ‘piece of p****’ and said she was not offended by racist or sexist jokes – even when members of her family told them.
The allegations span the years 2005 to 2010, when Deen’s Food empire was expanding rapidly.
Transformation: Paula Deen, shed pounds after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, but she will have to work harder to throw off her apparent admissions during the videotaped deposition
Deen has become an internationally-renowned chef, thanks to her numerous Food Network TV shows, including ‘Paula’s Home Cooking’ and ‘Paula’s Party’. She has become known for her charm and quick-witted Southern banter.
The lawsuit alleges Deen hired Jackson to plan her brother’s wedding and then told her: ‘What I would really like is a bunch of little n******s to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties. Now, that would be a true Southern wedding wouldn’t it?’
Deen denied that she has used in the N-word in that context – or any time in the last several years.
However, she admitted she loved the idea of having only older black men dressed in Civil War-era house-slave garb serve guests.
She got the idea from a restaurant that she and her husband ate at in North Carolina or Tennessee.
‘The whole entire wait staff was middle-aged black men, and they had on beautiful white jackets and a black bow tie. I mean it was really impressive,’ she said.
‘And I remember saying I would love to have servers like that, but I would be afraid somebody would misinterpret.’
By ‘somebody,’ Deen meant the media, which was covering the lavish wedding.
‘It just wasn’t worth it,’ she said.
Despite allegations that she had used the N-word on several occasions in front of Jackson, Deen denied that she used racial slurs.
She also denied harboring any racial bias or telling racist jokes.
‘Things have changed since the 60s in the South. My children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior,’ she said.
However, she later admitted, she wouldn’t necessarily object if someone told a racist joke in her home.
‘It’s just what they are, they’re jokes,’ she said.
‘… They usually target a group. Gays, straights, black, redneck, you knew. I just can’t myself determine what offends another person.
She also dismissed men looking at pornography on work computers or on their phones as ‘just men being men’.
When asked whether she had used the N-word herself, she said ‘of course’ she had.
She recalled one time after a black man robbed the bank where she was working as a teller and held a gun to her head in the 1980s.
She said she referred to the man by the N-word when she recounted the story to her husband later that night.
She also said she had used the word when she was recounting a conversation between two black people.
Deen also admitted to referring to a teenage girl who worked for her by crude slang.
She said she had just fired a manager who was having sex with the girl and told him: ‘If you think I’ve worked this hard to lose everything because of a piece of p****, you better think again.’
She doesn’t regret using the word.
‘I said it that day and I would say it again today, it it applied,’ she said
Deen also admitted to knowing that her brother had been admitted to rehab for substance abuse 25 years ago.
She said her brother ‘liked to drink,’ but denied he had trouble with drugs or alcohol.
She also denied knowing about a cocaine use that was alleged against Bubba.
Bubba is accused of showing women he worked with pornography and openly viewing it at the restaurant.
The 5’6” matriarch recently made the headlines by ditching her calorie-laden favorites and opting for healthier foods.