In light of the recent scandal involving Paula Deen's use of racial slurs making headlines for almost a week, her sons came to her defense during an interview with CNN.
Bobby and Jamie Deen, who are also both TV chefs, said that the scandal “began as extortion and it has become character assassination.” Paula admitted during a discrimination lawsuit that she used the n-word on numerous occasions.
“Our mother was under oath asked in a deposition to pour over her entire life and to admit whether or not she had ever heard or used this word and it broke her heart to have to answer truthfully and say, yes that she had,” Bobby said during the interview.
Paula was initially scheduled to be interviewed on "The Today Show" but she did not show up. It is believed that her appearance will be rescheduled.
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“The important thing here is for people to know that that is not her heart, it is certainly not the home that we were raised in,” Bobby said. “We were raised in a family with love and of faith and a house where God lived. And neither one of our parents ever taught us to be bigoted toward any other person for any reason and this is so saddening to me because our mother is one of the most compassionate, good hearted, empathetic people that you’d ever meet. And these accusations are very hurtful to her and it’s very sad.”
Jamie also chimed in to defend his mother.
“This is ridiculous," Jamie said. "It’s completely absurd to think there is an environment of racism in our business and it's really disrespectful to the people we work with. We have strong, educated men and women of character that have been with us for 5, 10, 15, 20 years. To think they would allow themselves to be in this position is simply baloney. It's ridiculous.”
He added: “It was a different time when my mother was growing up. There's been leaps and bounds generationally that has helped, you know, the chasm that we have of racism in this country.”
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Prior to the brothers’ appearance, one of Paula’s sponsors, meat-producer Smithfield canceled their partnership with her, The Daily Mail reported.
A video of the interview is below: