America’s butter-loving southern queen Paula Deen (shown above with Amar’e Stoudemire) is embroiled in a little bit of controversy over her use of the "N" word. Get the deets on some of the off-color behavior that Chef Paula and her sons are accused of behind the scenes inside…
Charges of racism are being flung at Southern-chef Paula Deen after The National Enquirer published passages from a video of a deposition where Paula admitted to using the N-word and making racist and anti-Semitic jokes.
According to the Huffington Post, the deposition was held on May 17 as part of a court case brought forth by former Paula Deen Enterprises employee Lisa Jackson against Deen and her brother, Earl “Bubba” Hiers. In the suit, Lisa claimed there were several instances of sexual and racial workplace discrimination.
In one particularly salacious story from the deposition, Lisa was asked to plan a wedding for Paula’s son Bubba. Lisa claims Paula said she wanted to do a slave-style wedding. No, really….she did. Paula’s words:
"I want a true Southern -plantation style wedding. Well what I would really like is a bunch of little niggers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around. Now that would be a true Southern wedding wouldn’t it?"
The deposition goes on to claim that Black workers at "Uncle Bubba’s Restaurant" were required to use the BACK entrance to pick up their checks, and were all required to use the same bathroom at the BACK of the restaurant (while white employees could use the customer’s restrooms). Also, Blacks employees who worked in the back of the restaurant were not allow to go to the front of the restaurant.
Elsewhere in the deposition, Lisa goes on the quote Bubba saying things like, "I wish I could put all those niggers (in the kitchen) on a boat back to Africa)." And, he allegedly said, "They should send President Obama to the oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico so he could nigger-rig it."
When asked by lawyers about Lisa’s claims, here are direct passages from the interview.
On using the N-word:
Lawyer: Have you ever used the N-word yourself?
Deen: Yes, of course.
Lawyer: Okay. In what context?
Deen: Well, it was probably when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head.
Lawyer: Okay. And what did you say?
Deen: Well, I don’t remember, but the gun was dancing all around my temple … I didn’t — I didn’t feel real favorable towards him.
Lawyer: Okay. Well, did you use the N-word to him as he pointed a gun in your head at your face?
Deen: Absolutely not.
Lawyer: Well, then, when did you use it?
Deen: Probably in telling my husband.
And on her brother’s behavior:
Lawyer: Are you aware of Mr. Hiers admitting that he engaged in racially and sexually inappropriate behavior in the workplace?
Deen: I guess
Lawyer: Okay. Well, have you done anything about what you heard him admit to doing?
Deen: My brother and I have had conversations. My brother is not a bad person. Do humans behave inappropriately? At times, yes. I don’t know one person that has not. My brother is a good man. Have we told jokes? Have we said things that we should not have said, that — yes, we all have. We all have done that, every one of us.
For her part, Paula Deen’s lawyer defended her in a carfefully worded statement that did not deny what was revealed in the deposition.
"Contrary to media reports, Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable. She is looking forward to her day in court."
Sometimes we wish we didn’t know the things we know about celebs. Especially idiotic statements like this. And no, we’re not giving her points for being "truthful." She and her brothers seem to "miss" the days of the ole South. And we’re going to have to MISS her mac & cheese recipes that were damn good. Too bad so sad….
Read the FULL deposition here.
Photos via Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images North America