Paula Deen is trying to clean up the kitchen after whipping up some racial comments that threaten her TV and cookbook empire.
The celebrity chef -- who in a videotaped court deposition last month admitted using the N-word and planning to attire black waiters as antebellum slaves at a party -- had her PR team issue another statement on Thursday that blamed her Southern upbringing for her comments.
"During a deposition where she swore to tell the truth, Ms. Deen recounted having used a racial epithet in the past, speaking largely about a time in American history which was quite different than today," the statement said. "She was born 60 years ago when America's South had schools that were segregated, different bathrooms, different restaurants and Americans rode in different parts of the bus. This is not today." (In fact, Deen is 66 years old, not 60.)
The statement raises some additional questions. According to the deposition, Deen admitted using the N-word when she worked at a bank that was robbed by a black assailant who held a gun to her head. It's unclear when this event is supposed to have occurred, but published reports have indicated that Deen worked at a bank in the mid-1980s -- well after the Civil Rights movement had transformed racial attitudes in the South and elsewhere.