Deen backs out of "Today" interview - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Deen backs out of "Today" interview

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NEW YORK, NY (WALB) -

Paula Deen decided last-minute to not do a scheduled interview this morning on NBC's "Today".

The celebrity chef and Albany native was to go one-on-one with Matt Lauer to address a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a former restaurant manager and Deen's recent admission to using a racial slur.

In a deposition filed this week Deen was asked if she's ever used "the N-word."

She responded: "Yes, of course."

Deen says she likely used the slur in the 1980s after a black man held her at gunpoint at a bank where she worked.

She insists she objects to slurs being used in "any cruel or mean behavior."

The "Today" exclusive interview was to take place Friday morning. Lauer made the announcement at the start of the show that Deen had canceled the interview. Representatives told Today the Food Network star was "exhausted."

Lauer went on to say Deen had flown to New York for the interview and he had been in touch with her on Thursday as they agreed to an interview with no restraints.

Attorneys for Deen had previously advised her not to speak on the issue pending the ongoing civil suit.

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