New York Daily News

Deen on the boil

No more ‘sorry’ as slur chef rages at ‘lies,’ says she’s victim


DON’T BE DISTRACTED by the sniffling and the Kleenex.

When a tearful Paula Deen sat down to talk with Matt Lauer on “Today” Wednesday, she was locked and loaded.

This woman was through apologizin­g. This Paula Deen was an angry victim, a misunderst­ood soul whose lifetime of good works had been tarnished by an “evil” person and faceless critics telling “horrible, horrible lies.”

Five days after bailing on her first Lauer chat because she was “overwhelme­d” by the firestorm over her use of the N-word, Deen was back on offense.

When Lauer started by asking her about being dropped by the Food Network and Smithfield Foods — Caesars, Walmart and Home Depot followed suit later Wednesday — she brushed aside his question to deliver her mission statement.

“The main reason I’m here today is to tell you and everyone what I believe and how I live my life. I believe every one of God’s creatures was created equal.”

As Lauer pressed her on the Nword, which she admitted in a deposition for a bias lawsuit that she had used, she now said it was only one time. And only because she had a gun at her head, literally, during a robbery. If we really want to see an N-word crisis, she told Lauer, we should focus on young AfricanAme­ricans who toss it around. “It’s very, very distressin­g for me to go into my kitchen and hear what these young people are calling each other,” Deen,

66, said. “It makes my skin crawl.”

Not surprising­ly, Deen, whose business empire is estimated at $17 million, said she wouldn’t have fired herself. In fact, anyone who really knows her would realize that gratitude is in order.

“I’m not gonna sit here and tell everything I have done for people of color,” she said. “Somebody else can tell that.” What she did tell is that she was wounded by this “evil” person — presumably Lisa Jackson, who filed the suit.

Still, she told Lauer, “I is what I is,” a down-home touch that dovetailed nicely with her assurance to Lauer that “I’m not an actress.”

We can only imagine how dramatic her appearance would have been if she were.

 ??  ?? Paula Deen fires back in “Today” talk with Matt Lauer.
Paula Deen fires back in “Today” talk with Matt Lauer.
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