While under oath during a recorded deposition in May, Paula Deen admitted to using the N-word in the past. Deen was deposed in relation to a $1.2 million sexual harassment lawsuit from a former manager of her restaurant, Paula’s Oyster House.
The former employee claims she was exposed to racist, sexist and inappropriate comments while working at Paula’s Oyster House. As part of the lawsuit, Deen was questioned by the former employee’s attorney and TMZ got a hold of part of the transcript.
When asked if they ever used the N-word, Deen responds, “Yes, of course.” When asked the context of her use, Deen says, “Well, it was probably when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head.” While working at a bank in 1986, Deen was held at gunpoint.
Deen clarifies that she didn’t use the word in front of the gun-wielding man, but instead said it “Probably in telling my husband.” She also admits that she’s likely used it since then, but doesn’t remember when or in what context, adding that it probably happened when relating “a conversation between blacks.”
However, Deen says “things have changed since the 60s in the South” and notes that her brother and children “object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do.”
Deen’s rep has issued a statement regarding the deposition leak, reading, “Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable. She is looking forward to her day in court.”