SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Paula Deen was barely able to talk through the tears in her first public interview since her video deposition came out last week. She spoke on the "Today" show Wednesday morning.
Deen did not appear for her "Today" interview last Friday, but tried to salvage her image and he brand with the live TV appearance on Wednesday morning.
She started by saying was "distressed." She then told "Today" show host Matt Lauer that if there's anyone in the audience who's never said anything they regretted to "please take up that stone and throw it as hard as they can and kill me."
The Georgia native said that her purpose for being there was to clear the air. "There have been some very, very hurtful lies said about me … I am here today because I want people to know who I am," Deen told Lauer. "People that have worked beside me and walked beside me know what kind of person I am."
The celebrity chef quickly broke into tears trying to explain she wasn't a racist despite saying in a legal deposition that she's used racial slurs in the past. "The day I used that word was a world ago. It was 30 years ago. I had a gun put to my head."
She urged her fans not to boycott the Food Network, which dropped her last week, but said she wouldn't have fired someone in the same position.
The interview lasted about 10 minutes - she was asked about every aspect of her life from her physical health to her financial fallout.
When asked if her TV person is a front, Deen countered by saying: "What you see is what you get. I'm not an actress. I'm heartbroken. …'I is what I is and I'm not changing."