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Author Anne Rice Defends Paula Deen Against 'Lynch Mob Culture'

Paula Deen Food Network Key Art - P 2013
Food Network
Paula Deen

"I never heard of her until today, and wow, this looks like a crucifixion," Rice wrote of the former Food Network chef, currently embroiled in a scandal over her use of the "n-word."

Author Anne Rice has come to the defense of former Food Network chef Paula Deen following Deen's admission that she has used the "n-word" in the past.

In a Facebook post, Rice -- best known as the author of the Vampire Chronicles books -- questioned whether the criticism lobbied at Deen is justified.

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"What's happening with Paula Dean [sic]? Is it fair? I never heard of her until today, and wow, this looks like a crucifixion," Rice wrote, adding: "I may be wrong but aren't we becoming something of a lynch mob culture? Is this a good example of that?"

At press time, a total of 1,808 people had "liked" the post, with commenters split on whether they agreed with Rice.

Wrote Melinda Barrett: "For this to come out about something being said years ago is a bit much of a witch hunt."

Replied Rice: "Also it was a private remark to a caterer. It wasn't something she wrote on her FB page or on a billboard."

Commented Anton Brown: "ass a black man.i say leavwe her alone.rappers and comedians use tge qord everyday and no one said or says s--t [sic]."

Replied Rice: "Appreciated. I honestly don't think she meant to hurt anyone. She made the remark privately to an employee who is now suing her. Pretty ugly stuff, law suits."

STORY: Food Network Won't Renew Paula Deen's Contract 

Yet others disagreed with Rice and her supporters.

"If I boasted to a public forum about using racial slurs I would be fired too, and deserve it," wrote Netanii Natalie Jean. "She's been FIRED, not lynched."

Still others were harsher in their comments.

"Anne Rice, really?!! As an African American educator and New Orleanian I am offended that you would assume Ms. Deen is being crucified!" Tia J. Crowley wrote. "Did you not read the words she spoke? If not, please do. African Americans fight for equal rights everyday. I live in a state -- Louisiana -- where if you drive to the Northshore, you can easily find people who think like Deen herself. You disappoint me."

Wrote Adwoa Amoah: "Crucified? This woman is not Jesus. And did you really use the word 'lynch' to describe a woman being fired for being a racist? How utterly absurd. The Food Network has every right to no longer want to be affiliated with Paula Deen. She is reaping what she's sown. And the word n----r was not used with anything but malice, derision and hate. You are of course all entitled to your opinions but that makes you as racist as this unemployed woman. Disgusting."

STORY: Paula Deen Defends Use of N-Word: I 'Was Born 60 Years Ago' 

Meanwhile, Jeri Milburn quipped: "More shocking than these allegations against Paula is the fact that Anne has never heard of her until today!"

The Deen controversy began Wednesday when a transcript of a videotaped court deposition was unearthed. In the deposition, Dean admitted to using racial slurs in the past. She and her brother Bubba Hiers are being sued by the former manager of their Savannah restaurants, Lady and Sons and Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House. The suit claims Deen and her brother committed multiple acts of violence, discrimination and racism.

In the wake of the revelation, Deen has been dropped by Food Network and lost her endorsement deal with pork company Smithfield. But fans have flocked to her restaurant Lady and Sons and talked about boycotting the channel to show their support of the chef.

She's scheduled to appear on NBC's Today on Wednesday.