Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY
Spreading quickly on the Web: A National Enquirer story in which Paula Deen "confesses" she has said "the N-word on several occasions" and talked about "wanting black waiters to play the role of slave in a wedding party she was planning."
The revelations came to light after one of Deen's restaurant managers, Lisa Jackson, sued the celeb chef for discrimination in a whopping $1.2 million lawsuit.
Paula, 66, and her brother Earl "Bubba" Hiers - who co-owns a restaurant with her - gave depositions, during which the confessions were disclosed.
TMZ reports that, according to the deposition, one exchange went like this:
Lawyer: "Have you ever used the N-word yourself?"
Paula: "Yes, of course."
Lawyer: "Okay. In what context?"
Paula: "Well, it was probably when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head."
(Sidenote -- Paula was held up at gunpoint during a bank robbery in 1986.)
She goes on to say, "Things have changed since the '60s in the South. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do."
USA TODAY asked Deen's rep for comment, and her lawyer, Bill Franklin, issued a statement: "Contrary to media reports. Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable. She is looking forward to her day in court."