(updated, Friday, June 28)
. . . and, you know, it’s actually pretty similar to the somewhat garbled account she gave on “Today.”
When asked by Matt Lauer about the circumstances when she had used racial slurs, Deen launched into the middle of an old story about the time she was robbed while working at a bank: “It was 30 years ago. I had had a gun put to my head, a shaking gun, because the man that had the gun to my head was unbeknown to me a customer at my main office. . . That man was so frightened the day he put the gun to my head. He was a customer. I had gone out on a limb for him and gotten him a loan, and he was frightened I was going to recognize him.”
If you hadn’t followed the week-long Deen saga — including her account of the incident in the lawsuit deposition, and how she acknowledged using the slurs to describe the African-American robber later to her husband — you’d be forgiven for not knowing what the heck she was talking about.
Well: “Inside Edition” looked up the original 1987 police report from Albany, Ga, for a segment airing on the show tonight. Does it further our understanding of what’s going on with Deen? Well, no — but it’s definitely interesting, as police reports generally are. Among other rich details in the suspect’s confession (the girlfriend, “Peaches,” he wanted to protect; the guy named “Psycho” he bought the gun from in exchange for a rock of cocaine, the guy named “Midget” who laundered his $4,500 stealings) comes his description of his encounter with Deen, then working as a bank teller:
“I was surprised when I walked in and saw the lady that was the teller at the window, because I knew her from the downtown bank where I normally bank. I thought she would recognize me because there were some holes in the stocking covering my face. I can’t remember her name, but I know who she is. She is blonde, attractive and in her 30’s. Please tell her I’m sorry, but I never intended to hurt anyone.”
Updated Friday 2 p.m.: Okay, so now they’ve tracked him down. Eugene Thomas King Jr., now 62, told “Inside Edition” that he’s turned his life around after doing time. On his brush with Paula Deen and its repercussions, he says: ““I really feel for her. She’s being persecuted because of that one little mistake in her judgment. She was acting out of anger. . . I regret that I pointed a gun at her and I wish there was a way to take it back.”