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Paula Deen, embattled TV chef, a no-show at NBC's 'Today'

Paula Deen: Shortly before the show went on the air Friday, Today's Lauer said he was told by a Deen representative that she was pulling out.

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Celebrity chef Paula Deen poses for a portrait in New York, last year. It was revealed that Deen admitted during questioning in a lawsuit that she had slurred blacks in the past.

Carlo Allegri/AP/File

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Celebrity cook Paula Deen was a no-show Friday at the "Today" show, where she was scheduled to appear to answer questions about past use of racial slurs.

"Today" host Matt Lauer told viewers he had spoken with Deen the day before to arrange what NBC had promoted as an exclusive, live appearance.

But shortly before the show went on the air Friday, Lauer said he was told by a Deen representative that she was pulling out.

Phone calls from The Associated Press to a representative for Deen weren't immediately returned.

While questioned last month in a discrimination lawsuit, the 66-year-old Food Network star admitted to having used racial slurs in the past, but insisted she and her family do not tolerate prejudice.

The Food Network said Thursday it doesn't tolerate any form of discrimination and is looking into the situation.


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