TMZ cornered MSNBC’s Al Sharpton and asked for his take on the Paula Deen story. Deen, who was fired from Food Network after revelations that she admitted in a deposition that in the past she had used the “N-word,” is currently embroiled in a sexual harassment and racial discrimination lawsuit from a former employee. Sharpton focused on the current lawsuit and seemed to give Deen a pass on the past behavior:
“A lot of us have in the past said things we have regretted saying years ago. I think she has a lawsuit now about activities now whether it was discriminatory. And whether or not she’s engaged in things now. It’s not about her past. … She deserves what’s fair, but that’s based on what she’s engaged in now.”
Sharpton, who hosts a prime time cable show on MSNBC and a nationally syndicated radio talk show, lost a defamation lawsuit 20 years ago when he falsely accused an innocent man of raping Tawana Brawley. He also referred to Jews as “diamond merchants” and he is blamed for instigating deadly riots in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Harlem.
Watch the TMZ video here: