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Food Network confirms it fired Paula Deen

June 21, 2013 at 5:36 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, June 21 (UPI) -- The Food Network said Friday it won't renew its contract with Georgia-born celebrity chef Paula Deen, who has apologized for using racial slurs in the past.

"Food Network will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month," a network spokesman told People.com.

Deen, 66, recently confirmed during a deposition for a lawsuit that she has routinely used the N-word.

The television personality and cookbook author is being sued for $1.2 million by a former employee who alleges Deen created a hostile work environment at one of her restaurants by expressing racist views.

Word of Deen's admission sparked a media firestorm and she issued a statement this week saying she doesn't condone racism.

She was scheduled to clarify her position further on Friday's edition of NBC's "Today" show, but backed out of appearing on the morning program at the last minute, the show's anchor Matt Lauer said on the air.

She later issued a mea culpa via video for her behavior.

"I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong that I've done," she said in the clip, which was posted on People.com.

"I want to learn and grow from this," she said. "Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable. I've made plenty of mistakes along the way, but I beg you, my children, my team, my fans, my partners -- I beg for your forgiveness. Please forgive me for the mistakes that I've made."

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