Embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen raised her two sons, Jaime and Bobby Deen, right. The pair recently appeared on CNN’s new morning show to defend their mother against accusations that she is a racist and tolerates racial bigotry after Deen admitted in a legal deposition that she has used the n-word to describe African-Americans.
43-year old Bobby Dean, who along with his brother, operate the Deen’s family restaurant in Savannah, GA as well as host a cooking show on The Food Network, insisted that after a former employee’s attempts to extort money from Deen failed, she filed a lawsuit, which Bobby Dean termed an attempt at the “character assassination” of his mother.
Dean’s sons reported during the interview that they were raised in a household where the main lesson was to treat people fairly according to their character and their accomplishments rather than the color of their skin.
Bobby Dean was especially vocal about insisting that his mother was as compassionate a person as anyone could ever meet, had a very good heart and did not deserve to be labeled a racist in any fashion.
But despite Deen’s sincere apologies and her sons’ coming to her defense, most of her lucrative endorsements deals have been cancelled since the controversy erupted.
“Our mother was under oath asked in a deposition to pour over her entire life and to admit whether or not she had ever heard or used this word and it broke her heart to have to answer truthfully and say, yes that she had,” Bobby Deen, 43, told CNN. “But the important thing here is for people to know that that is not her heart….”
“We were raised in a family with love and of faith and a house where God lived,” he continued. “And neither one of our parents ever taught us to be bigoted towards any other person for any reason and this is so saddening to me because our mother is one of the most compassionate, good-hearted, empathetic people that you’d ever meet.”
He added, “These accusations are very hurtful to her and it’s very sad. And frankly, I’m disgusted by the entire thing because it began as extortion and it has become character assassination.”
Jamie Deen, 45, also recalled a story about how one of his childhood heroes was African-American baseball player Hank Aaron, and how his parents taught him about the challenges Aaron faced “because of his color.”
“They told me that he’s a man of character, and the challenges that he overcame because of his color was unacceptable,” Jamie said. “This is a lesson that my mom and dad taught me when I was 7 years old, and it’s a lesson that I’ve carried throughout my life of inclusion and to treat everyone fairly and by their character and by their own merit. Under no circumstances should you ever judge anybody for any other reason.”
Paula Deen’s sons: It’s ‘character assassination’ to call her racist