Paula Deen faced some hard questions from Matt Lauer during her emotional TODAY show interview on Wednesday, June 26. During the nearly 14-minute sit-down, the recently fired Food Network chef addressed the racial slur scandal that threatens to end her career. "There's been some hurtful lies told about me," she said, later adding that "someone evil" out there was trying to defame her character.
"I is what I is, and I'm not changing," she added tearfully when questioned about past sins.
Indeed, the Southern chef, 66, has never been one to censor or apologize for her over-the-top personality and outspoken nature. She says what she thinks, when she thinks it. Here's a look at some of her craziest quotes and most memorable words of wisdom through the years.
On why she didn't "fudge the truth" in her deposition: "There's a couple people I don't like that I am prejudiced against, and that's thieves and liars."
On owning up to her past mistakes: "If there's anyone out there that has never said something that they wish they could take back — if you're out there, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me. Please. I want to meet you…I is what I is, and I'm not changing."
On an allegation that she hires only white people to work in the front of her restaurant: "Bubba and I, neither one of us care what the color of your skin is or what is between your legs. It's what's in your heart and in your head that matters to us."
On telling "offensive" jokes: "Most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks…I didn't make up the joke, I don't know…They usually target, though, a group. Gays or straights, black, redneck…I can't myself determine what offends another person."
On her bad habits: "I've got two vices: cigarettes and taters."
On her producer, Gordon Elliott: "Gordon tells me not to edit myself, that's what the editing room is for. You know, he's my puppet master. He sticks his hand up my bleep and makes my mouth move."
On delicious smells: "Onions and bacon cooking up just makes your kitchen smell so good. In fact, one day I'm going to come up with a room deodorizer that smells like bacon and onions. It's a fabulous smell."
On Southern cooking: "Down South, even our vegetables have some pig hidden somewhere in it. A vegetable isn't a vegetable without a little ham hock."
On her famed love of butter: "I will never use a substitute for butter. Margarine is one molecule away from eating plastic."
On true wealth: "Being rich is having leftovers. Good leftovers make your tongue fly outta your mouth and smack your brains out."
On immortality: "You know, I am so sick of [turning] on my television, and everyone on it is obsessed with living forever. Well, I have a news flash: Ain't none of us getting out of here alive."
On her appetite and status as a so-called "fat girl": "Nobody better get between a fat girl and her food, 'specially if the girl's me."
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