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Paula Deen’s Ex-Publicist To CNN: ‘Cultural Difference’ May Be Why She Used Insensitive Language

Celebrity chef Paula Deen has not given any interviews about the controversy over her past usage of the n-word and a plantation-themed wedding she was involved in, and the one big interview she was supposed to do today didn’t happen. But Nancy Assuncao Sanchez, Deen’s former publicist, spoke with CNN earlier today following the news that the Food Network is not renewing Deen’s contract. Sanchez said she was “incredibly saddened by all this,” telling Jim Acosta that she “admired” Deen throughout the sixteen years she worked for her.

Acosta asked Sanchez if she ever heard Deen use the kind of racially insensitive language she’s accused of. Sanchez said no, but attempted to defend why Deen said the n-word, attributing it to a “cultural difference,” but insisted, “I know her heart, and her heart is a good heart.” When Acosta questioned Sanchez further, she repeated that line and touted the racial diversity of people Deen worked with.

Sanchez continued, “Her manager is Asian, and–and she just–every kind of ethn–every background is on her team, so I don’t think she’s judgmental that way. At least, I never saw that.”

Watch the video below, courtesy of CNN:

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