Hey, y'all: Paula Deen couldn't make it to the Today Show on Friday morning, June 21. The Southern celebrity chef, 66, bailed last minute on a scheduled appearance on the NBC morning show, where she was expected to explain her past use of racial slurs -- including the N-word -- to Matt Lauer.
Lauer himself was dumbfounded by the Food Network star's sudden no-show. "Hoping to get more info on the Paula Deen situation soon. Very confusing," he tweeted after announcing on air that Deen's rep had said she was pulling out the appearance.
As previously reported, Deen sparked massive outrage earlier this week after the transcript from a May 17 deposition was released. Testifying in a $1.2 million lawsuit filed by her former employee, Lisa Jackson, the Georgia native admitted to saying the racial slur "n--ger" in the past. Deen clarified this and other shocking admissions in a statement to Us Weekly on Thursday.
"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."