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June 25th, 2013
09:30 AM ET

Paula Deen's sons: She's no racist

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.