Paula Deen broke down in tears during an interview on the "Today" show Wednesday, asking people to see her for who she is as a person in the wake of her admitted past use of a racial slur -- a revelation that threatens to derail her career.
Deen -- in an emotional, heartfelt and, at times, uncomfortable interview with Matt Lauer -- insisted she is not prejudiced after a court deposition surfaced in which she admitted to using a derogatory term for African-Americans.
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"I believe that every creature on this earth -- every one of God's creatures -- was created equal," she told Lauer. Deen also said that there were "some very hurtful lies said about me."
"I know my love for people, and I'm not going to sit here and tell everything I've done for people of color," she said. "I would never hurt anyone on purpose."
When asked directly if she was racist, Deen replied that she is not. Lauer also grilled about sponsors and business partners dropping her, asking if that was her primary concern.