Paula Deen might be born and raised in the South, but she wants to make it clear that the racist stereotype doesn’t apply to her. The Food Network lady recently gave a deposition in connection with a lawsuit filed against her by a former employee. The woman claims she was sexually harassed and that she received a slew of racist, sexist and generally inappropriate comments, while she worked at Paula’s Oyster House in Georgia. The deposition, obtained by TMZ, features some questionable passages:

Lawyer: Have you ever used the N-word yourself?

Paula: Yes, of course.

Lawyer: Okay. In what context?

Lawyer: Well, then tell me the other context in which you've used the N-word?

Paula: I don't know, maybe in repeating something that was said to me.

Lawyer: Like a joke?

Paula: No, probably a conversation between blacks. I don't -- I don't know. But that's just not a word that we use as time has gone on. Things have changed since the '60s in the south. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do.

So, yes, there are some incriminating passages, but according to Paula’s words, she is making an effort to not be racist. Obviously, that doesn’t automatically absolve her, so right now, it’s all up in the air – both the lawsuit and Deen’s public image. One thing is certain though – the woman can make a mean deep-fried lasagna.

Paula Deen, Today Show Arrivals
Paula Deen does not condone racist slurs.

Paula Deen, 2013 BookExpo
With some minor exceptions.