10:37 AM EDT, June 20, 2013
Can celebrity chef Paula Deen survive the scandal rocking her empire?
That's the big question in the wake of her admission that she used the N-word.
On CBS This Morning they said, "Celebrity chef Paula Deen is facing new controversy. Dean is admitting she used a racial slur in the past."
Barbara Walters said on The View, "One wonders what affect will this will have on her career?"
The shocking admission about the n-word came in a deposition Deen gave in which she was asked, "Have you ever used the N-word yourself?"
"Yes, of course," she replied.
Deen said she used the N-word when she was a bank teller in Georgia in 1986.
"It was probably when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head," she said.
She was then asked, "Did you use the N-word to him as he pointed a gun in your head at your face?"
Deen replied, "Absolutely not."
She was then asked, "Well then, when did you use it?"
Deen said, "Probably in telling my husband."
Then, she was asked, "Okay have you used it since then?"
Deen then replied, "I'm sure I have but it's been a very long time."
Deen is being sued by a former manager at a restaurant she owns in Savannah with her brother, Bubba.
In the lawsuit, the manager quotes Deen saying about planning her brother’s wedding, "What I would really like is a bunch of little N-word who wear long sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around."
On The View, Barbara Walters drew a comparison with other stars snared in similar scandals.
She said, "Remember Mel Gibson when he used an anti-Semitic remark, he was stopped at one point. It did a great deal of harm and it may still continue to affect his career."
INSIDE EDITION asked pop culture expert Marc Lamont Hill if Deen can survive the scandal.
He said, "It is almost impossible to imagine Paula Deen surviving this. Sometimes people say things they don't mean, sometimes it is just bone-headed and offensive, but, this is another level. It seems to me Paula Deen can't get around allegations she is racist."
Deen's spokesman said, "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. Ms. Deen does not find acceptable the use of this term under any circumstance."
Deen denies using the N-word during her brothers wedding planning.
Deen's lawyers say the employee's lawsuit amounts to “pay up or you will be ruined."