Paula Deen's sons defended their mother, who is currently involved in a controversy after she admitted to using a racial slur in the past, during an interview on Tuesday, June 25.
Both Bobby and Jamie Deen were interviewed about the controversy on CNN's "New Day." The brothers claimed in the interview that their mother is not racist and they were raised in a home that would not tolerate discrimination. Their interview can be seen below.
When asked by host Chris Cuomo what they would say to someone who believes that Paula Deen is a racist, Bobby said, "That's simply not true."
Paula Deen, 66, admitted in a court deposition that she had used the N-word in the past. She was commenting on the record to answer a $1.2 million racial and sexual discrimination lawsuit filed against her and her brother by a former employee of their Savannah, Georgia, restaurant.
"Our mother was under oath, asked in a deposition to pour over her entire life and to admit whether she had ever heard or used this word," Bobby added, referring to the lawsuit. "It broke her heart to have to answer truthfully and say that yes, that she had, but 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," he continued. "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 towards any other person for any reason."
"These accusations are very hurtful to her and it's very sad and frankly, I'm disgusted by the entire thing because it began as extortion and it has become character assassination and out mother is not the picture that's being painted of her," Bobby said.
After Paula Deen's deposition came to light, her company, Paula Deen Enterprises, released a statement saying she "does not find acceptable the use of this term under any circumstance by anyone nor condone any form of racism or discrimination."
She was set to appear on NBC's "Today" show on Friday, June 21, but canceled her appearance due to exhaustion. That same day, three apology videos were posted on Deen's YouTube page (one of which was removed).
The Food Network then announced that it would not renew Deen's contract, which expires at the end of this month. She was also dropped by Smithfield Foods as the company's spokesperson. Both QVC and Sears are currently reexamining their ties to Deen and her products.
Bobby and Jamie Deen have a show on the Food Network called "Road Tasted."
Jamie Deen also talked to the program and told a story from his youth in 1975. Jamie said that Hank Aaron was his sports hero growing up and before he had his tonsils taken out at 7 years old, his parents gave him "Hank Aaron pajamas" and talked to him about the challenges the baseball legend had to face because of his race.
"This is a lesson that my mom and dad taught me when I was 7 years old and it's a lesson that I've carried with me throughout my life of inclusion and to treat everyone fairly and by their character and by their own merit," he said. "Under no circumstances should you ever judge anybody for any other reason."
Jamie later said, "This is ridiculous. It's completely absurd to think that there's an environment of racism in our business and it's really disrespectful to the people that we work with."
Paula Deen is reportedly set to appear on the "Today" show on Wednesday, June 26. Check out Bobby and Jamie Deen's interview below.