The 40-year-old television personality asserted as much in an interview with Today on Monday. Rancic came under heavy fire for saying the actress' dreadlocks must smell of "patchouli oil ... or weed" on the E! series in February, and explained the comment was taken out of context.
"I made a reference to the hippie culture. I talked about patchouli oil, which is a hippie perfume, and in the editing process, some of the gestures I made, some of the things I said were taken out for time," she shared. "I made peace signs. I said 'bohemian' twice."
Rancic admitted she can "see why people took offense" at the remark in its edited form, which angered many with its perceived racial implications. The host said she felt it was important to "tell the real story" and clarify she never intended the joke to be racial.
"I find racism reprehensible," she declared. "I don't tolerate it all nor have I ever. And I think that's really important for me to get that out there, because that's been the hardest part of all of this is that someone could believe that I have racial undertones in the things that I do. Absolutely not."
Fashion Police co-hosts Kelly Osbourne and Kathy Griffin left the series in the wake of the controversy, and the show has been placed on hiatus until the fall. It remains to be seen if Rancic will return to the program, as she and husband Bill Rancic are moving to Chicago in August.