NEW YORK, June 20 (UPI) -- Georgia-born celebrity chef Paula Deen, who recently admitted using the N-word in the past, says she doesn't "condone any form of racism or discrimination."
The 66-year-old Food Network star was quoted as confirming in a May deposition for a lawsuit that she had used the racial slur years earlier.
Her remarks made headlines this week and sparked new debate about the word and whether it can ever be used colloquially without being regarded as racist.
"During a deposition where she swore to tell the truth, Ms. Deen recounted having used a racial epithet in the past, speaking largely about a time in American history which was quite different than today," Deen's representatives said in a statement to UsMagazine.com Thursday.
"She was born 60 years ago when America's South had schools that were segregated, different bathrooms, different restaurants and Americans rode in different parts of the bus. This is not today," the statement continued. "To be clear, Ms. Deen does not find acceptable the use of this term under any circumstance by anyone nor condone any form of racism or discrimination."
Lisa Jackson, the former manager of one of Deen's restaurants, is suing Deen for $1.2 million, claiming Deen created a hostile work environment by using racial slurs.