By Josh Levs, CNN
(CNN) - Celebrity chef Paula Deen's sons staunchly defended their mother Tuesday, saying allegations of racism are false "character assassination."
"Neither one of our parents ever taught us to be bigoted toward any other person for any reason," Bobby Deen told CNN's "New Day" in an exclusive interview with Chris Cuomo.
"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."
In a recent lawsuit deposition, Deen admitted having used the "N-word" long ago. The suit alleges discrimination and racism at two of Deen's restaurants.
But the Deen sons - also chefs with TV shows, and part of their family's restaurant businesses - insisted the depictions of their mother are an effort by the plaintiff to get a chunk of the family fortune.
"I'm disgusted by the entire thing, because it began as extortion and it has become character assassination," Bobby Deen said.
IT CONCERNS ME THAT AS A SOCIETY WE CONDEMN PEOPLE FOR TELLING THE TRUTH. I HAVE HEARD MANY BLACK PEOPLE USE THE N-WORD TO ANOTHER BLACK PERSON. YET AS A SOCIETY WE CONDONE THAT WORD BEING USED AND NOT A BIG DEAL IS MADE OF IT. I HAVE TO ASK FOOD NETWORK IF IT WERE ANOTHER BLACK PERSON THAT HAD USED THIS WORD 30 YEARS AGO WOULD THEY FIRE THEM FOR USING IT. I PERSONALLY DON'T USE THE WORD AND I DON'T LIKE IT BEING USED WHETHER IT IS A WHITE OR BLACK OR ANY RACE FOR THAT MATTER. I DO THINK THIS WHOLE THING IS BEING BLOWN OUT OF PROPORTION. AS FOR THE ANTEBELLUM WEDDING HAS ANYONE ASKED IF THEY WERE MISTREATED IN ANY WAY. SOME PEOPLE ROMANTICIZE THE OLD SOUTH BECAUSE OF MOVIES LIKE "GONE WITH THE WIND" WHICH I'M SURE OFFENDS SOME PEOPLE. I LOOK AT IT AS A REENACTMENT WHICH MAY NOT HAVE BEEN IN GOOD JUDGMENT BUT I DON'T THINK SHE REALIZED THE RAMIFICATIONS OF HOW IT IS PERCEIVED. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT AND "YES" WE MAKE MISTAKES. I THINK IT IS ROTTEN THAT HER SPONSORS ARE ACTING LIKE IT IS THE WORSE THING IN THE WORLD. I DO FEEL IT IS CHARACTER ASSASSINATION BECAUSE WE WEREN'T THERE. YET EVERYONE WANTS TO PLAY JUDGE AND JURY WITH HER BUSINESS. SHE USED THE WORD BEFORE FOOD NETWORK WAS EVEN ON THE AIR. I HAVE TO ASK FOOD NETWORK AND OTHER SPONSORS IF THEY ARE GOING TO START ASKING EVERYONE IF THERE IS A WORD THEY MAY HAVE CALLED SOMEONE THAT COULD BE CONSIDERED OFFENSIVE TO ANYONE IN THERE LIFETIME. DO YOU SEE HOW SILLY IT IS THAT WE HAVE BECOME SO PETTY THAT FORGIVENESS IS TOO HARD TO GIVE. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHY DID THIS PERSON WAIT SO LONG TO ADDRESS IT AND TAKE HER TO COURT IF SHE WAS SO OFFENDED BY IT? I DO BELIEVE SHE SHOULD GO TO PRISON FOR EXTORTION! I DON'T FEEL PAULA MEANT TO HURT THE BLACK COMMUNITY. I THINK THE GOOD SHE HAS DONE SHOULD OUT WEIGH THE POOR JUDGMENT. SHE SAID SHE WAS SORRY. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT PEOPLE, HER BLOOD. AS FOR THE PRESS, I WISH YOU WOULD BE LESS JUDGMENTAL AND STOP AIRING THINGS BEFORE YOU GET BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY WHEN IT COMES TO CELEBRITIES. I FEEL WE ALL DESERVE SOME PRIVACY. DO YOU WANT YOUR PERSONAL LIFE AIRED AND JUDGED BY EVERYONE? THANK YOU...
If the sky is blue the sky is blue.
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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