Celebrity chef Paula Deen allegedly admitted to using the n-word during a May 17 videotaped deposition, according to the Associated Press.
Deen also mentioned wanting black waiters to play the role of “slaves” in a wedding party she planned, according to an upcoming edition of the National Enquirer.
Deen and her brother, Earl “Bubba” Hiers, are being sued by a former employee, who worked at their Savannah restaurant. Former employee Lisa Jackson claims in a lawsuit that Hiers routinely made inappropriate sexual and racial remarks and that she heard both Hiers and Deen use racial slurs.
Jackson also alleges the restaurant owners required black staffers to use the back entrance and banned them from using a customer restroom that white staff members could use.
In a statement to theGrio, a representative for Deen said: “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.”
However, according to the Associated Press, Jackson’s attorney asked Deen if she had ever used the n-word, to which the TV personality allegedly said, “Yes, of course.” Deen also said she likely used it while being held at gunpoint while working in a bank during the 1980s.
The chef insists she and her brother object to slurs being used in “any cruel or mean behavior.”
Deen allegedly commented on racial jokes during the deposition, saying “It’s just what they are — they’re jokes…most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks…I can’t determine what offends another person.”
In regards to wanting black men to play the role of slaves during an upcoming wedding, Deen reportedly responded that she had gotten the idea from a restaurant she ate at with her husband.
“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.”
The issue of the National Enquirer detailing Deen’s deposition hits stands Thursday.
Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.