Paula Deen Re-Commits to 'Today'
Paula Deen has agreed to do the "Today" show Wednesday, Matt Lauer said Monday morning, three days after she backed out of an appearance and was subsequently dropped from the Food Network following her admission to using the N-word.
"She has told us she will be here this time," Lauer said on the air Monday.
Deen's representatives cited "exhaustion" as she backed out at the last minute Friday from addressing her admission in a deposition last month that she has used the N-word in the past.
Deen, 66, and her brother are being sued by a former employee at their Savannah, Ga., restaurant who claims Deen's brother subjected her to sexist, racist and violent behavior. She accused Deen of using the word as recently as in 2007, while discussing an idea for a "plantation"-style wedding.
Deen denied using the word then, but conceded that she had used it previously: once to refer to a man who held her at gunpoint, and to recount conversations between African-Americans who used the word.
But she said in the deposition that times have changed and she no longer uses the word. Her representatives said in a statement Thursday that her use of it in the past was the result of growing up in the South 60 years ago. Then Deen offered a videotaped apology Friday.
But that wasn't enough for the Food Network. It announced Friday afternoon that it would not renew her contract when it ends this month.