Celebrity chef Paula Deen, facing allegations of racism that have caused parts of her empire to crumble, slammed what she called "horrible, horrible lies" about her in an emotional, nationally televised interview Wednesday.
"I believe that every creature on this Earth, every one of God's creatures, was created equal," she told NBC's "Today" show. "... I believe that everyone ought to be treated equal."
Orders for "Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up" surged on Amazon by nearly 1,300% in the last 24 hours.
Celebrity chef Paula Deen's sons staunchly defended their mother Tuesday, saying allegations of racism are false "character assassination."
"Neither one of our parents ever taught us to be bigoted toward any other person for any reason," Bobby Deen told CNN's "New Day" in an exclusive interview with Chris Cuomo.
"Our mother is one of the most compassionate, good-hearted, empathetic people that you'd ever meet," he added. "These accusations are very hurtful to her, and it's very sad."
Paula Deen has been dropped by a major sponsor, Smithfield Foods, after it came to light last week that she admitted using a racial slur in a lawsuit deposition. The deposition was part of a suit filed by Lisa T. Jackson, a former general manager of one of Deen's Georgia restaurants, for sexual and racial harassment while working for Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers.
The announcement comes as another harsh blow after Food Network announced on Friday that it will not be renewing its contract with the 66-year-old cooking personality Deen, who joined the network in 1999.
The Food Network announced Friday that it will not renew the contract of Paula Deen after she admitted using a racial epithet – but a black pastor who is friends with the celebrity chef said she "can't be a racist."
Celebrity chef Paula Deen acknowledged in a lawsuit deposition that she used a racial epithet. The lawsuit was filed by Lisa T. Jackson - a manager at Deen's restaurants in Savannah, Georgia - who is suing Deen and her brother over allegations of sexual and racial harassment. Deen's lawyer has called the allegations false. Read the transcript of the deposition here.
[Update: A representative from the Food Network has issued a statement saying: “Food Network will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month.”]
Celebrity chef Paula Deen apologized Friday for "the wrong that I've done," a move that follows revelations this week that she admitted to using a racial epithet in the past.
"I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong that I've done," Deen said in the video statement. "I want to learn and grow from this. Inappropriate and hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable. 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."