Food Network fires Paula Deen over use of racial slur

Published: Saturday, June 22 2013 10:10 a.m. MDT

FILE - This Jan. 17, 2012 file photo shows celebrity chef Paula Deen posing for a portrait in New York. It was revealed that Deen admitted during questioning in a lawsuit that she had slurred blacks in the past. It's the second time the queen of comfort food's mouth has gotten her into big trouble. She revealed in 2012 that for three years she hid her Type 2 diabetes while continuing to cook the calorie-laden food that's bad for people like her. (AP Photo/Carlo Allegri, File)

Carlo Allegri, ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Food Network announced on Friday that it will not renew the contract of Paula Deen after it was made public that she admitted using a racial slur, telling racist jokes and planning a slavery-themed wedding.

Her contract is up at the end of June.

CNN reports that while giving testimony in a lawsuit stemming from alleged racist behavior at her Savannah restaurant, Deen admitting to using the "N-word" in the past.

According to reports of the deposition, when asked if she had ever used the N-word, she replied "Yes, of course."

Lisa T. Jackson, a former manager at Deen's Lady & Sons and Uncle Bubba's Oyster House in Savannah, Ga., alleges that Deen and her brother Bubba Hier "committed numerous acts of violence, discrimination and racism" that resulted in the end of Jackson's employment, CNN reported.

Jackson is suing for $1.2 million.

After learning of her termination, Deen issued a statement in which she thanked the Food Network for the 11 years she worked there.

"… I have had the pleasure of being allowed into so many homes across the country and meeting people who have shared with me the most touching and personal stories," Deen said. "… This would not have been possible without the Food Network. Thank you again. Love and best dishes to all of ya'll."

In the testimony, Deen also admitted to asking black employees to dress up as slaves for an antebellum-style wedding, according to Fox News and first reported by the National Inquirer. Deen allegedly got the idea from a restaurant she went to where the staffers were all "middle-aged black men, and they had on beautiful black jackets with a black bow tie."

She allegedly said, "I mean, it was really impressive. That restaurant represented a certain era in America … after the Civil War, during the Civil War, before the Civil War. … It was not only black men, it was black women … I would say they were slaves.”

In a video released Friday, Deen said "My family and I are not the kind of people the press are wanting to say we are. … Your color, your religion, your sexual preference does not matter to me. But it's what's in the heart, and my family and I try to live by that."

Michael Smith (@smithmichael8) is an intern in the news section of DeseretNews.com. A 2013 graduate of the University of Utah, he will be attending Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism in the fall.

Editor's Note: The original version of this story posted on June 22, 2013, failed to properly attribute all source materials, which violates our editorial policies. The story was revised on Oct. 8, 2013.

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