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Exclusive: Paula Deen Denies New Racist Claims

Embattled TV chef Paula Deen has denied new racist allegations and pay issues from an employee who worked for her as a cook for more than 20 years.


The African-American cook, Dora Charles, alleges in a New York Times article that she was promised generous pay raises if Deen's own businesses took off. But she claims that despite Deen's widespread success, she remained working for $10 an hour and living in a run-down trailer.

RELATED: Paula Deen Dumps Legal Team

Charles also alleged that Deen had used racial slurs and asked her to do things she considered demeaning, like ringing a dinner bell in front of the restaurant. "I said, 'I'm not ringing no bell,'" she told the Times

In the article, Charles also recites an anecdote in which Deen allegedly wanted another chef at her Lady & Sons restaurant in Savannah, GA -- a woman named Ineata Jones -- to dress up like Aunt Jemima.

RELATED: Publisher Cancels Deen's No. 1 Selling Cookbook

Deen reacted to the claims Friday in an exclusive statement to ET: "Ms. Charles' 'issue' is about money, not race. She receives a salary of more than $70,000 per year, plus profit sharing and benefits.  For 20 years she has been paid a fair wage for her work, but she feels she deserves even more money. She claimed to be a friend of Paula Deen’s but is now trying to cash in on the current situation."

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