Paula Deen Thanks Al Sharpton for Kind Words

al sharpton speaks out in paulas defense

Paula Deen is grateful to the Reverend Al Sharpton for suggesting that she is being judged too harshly for a situation that transpired more than two decades ago.

The former 'Food Network' celebrity chef tweeted, "I want to thank Reverend Sharpton for his kind, kind words."

She followed that up with a message to those who have reached out to her, "I want to send love and thanks for the kind words you have all shared with me and my family, and the support you've shown me this past week."

Sharpton told TMZ, "A lot of us have in the past said things we have regretted saying years ago... She deserves what's fair, and that's based on what she's engaged in now.  You cannot deal with what is fair or not fair until we see an outcome of the present circumstances she is accused of, not something that happened 20 years ago."

Political commentator Bill Maher also seemed to be sympathetic to Deen's plight.  He reasoned, "If you're 66 years old, and you were raised in Georgia, and you were a child before the civil rights movement, do you get a bit of a pass?"

He added, "I also think that people shouldn't have to lose their shows and go away when they do something bad... It's just a word, it's a wrong word, she's wrong to use it.  But do we always have to make people go away?"

We'll all get an opportunity to hear Paula speak about the scandal on Wednesday, when she sits down for the "over due" interview with Matt Lauer on TODAY.

Deen tweeted earlier today, "See you Wednesday, I am so glad Matt, Al and my friends @TodayShow are bringing me back."

Photos:  WENN