6:07am PT by Erin Carlson
Paula Deen to Face Matt Lauer on Wednesday's 'Today'
After leaving Matt Lauer in the lurch last week, Paula Deen is poised to appear for an interview on Wednesday's edition of Today in the wake of the N-word controversy that prompted Food Network to cut ties with the TV chef.
"She has told us she will be here this time," Lauer said Monday on the air.
The live sitdown will be exclusive to the NBC morning show, which had previously snagged Dean for Friday's broadcast -- the segment fell through, however, when she backed out, with her PR team citing "exhaustion" as the reason. Later in the day, bypassing a grilling from Lauer, Deen released two videos apologizing for using racial slurs and begging fans for their forgiveness. Meanwhile, Food Network issued a statement saying the cable channel -- which had housed Deen's series for more than a decade -- would not renew her contract when it expires at the end of the month.
Deen, who admitted to using the N-word during her deposition for a discrimination lawsuit from a former employee, addressed her firing in a statement over the weekend, saying: "I have had the pleasure of being allowed into so many homes across the country and meeting people who have shared with me the most touching and personal stories. This would not have been possible without the Food Network. Thank you again. Love and best dishes to all of ya'll."
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