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'N-word' US TV chef: 'I is what I is'

TEARS: Paula Deen was upset when defending herself

CELEBRITY CHEF Paula Deen appeared on the Today show to protest her innocence at claims she is racist.

The American chef was recently fired by the Food Network and Smithfield Brands over her admission in a sworn deposition that she had once used the n-word.

Speaking on the show yesterday (June 26), she said: “I is what I is, and I’m not changing.

“If there is anyone out there that has never said something that they wish they could take back, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard that it kills me.”

The 66-year-old said her admission on using the word the one time – something which she deeply regrets – has destroyed her reputation.

“The day I used that word, it was a world ago,” she said.

“It was 30 years ago.”

The southern chef – who made her name from restaurants, cookbooks, kitchenware, public appearances and endorsement deals – was embroiled in the racial controversy when a lawsuit was brought against her and her brother by a former manager of the siblings’ restaurant.

The former employee testified that she heard Deen repeatedly say "n****r" and talk of how she wanted to have a plantation themed wedding for her brother with an all-black serving staff to emulate slaves.

Deen was asked under oath if she had ever used the racial slur.

“Yes, of course,” Deen said and added: “It’s been a very long time.”

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