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Former boxer Laila Ali sets the record straight about false reports that she is a supporter of embattled chef Paula Deen in an exclusive interview with commentator Jacque Reid on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.

On July 30, TMZ posted a brief conversation between Ali and a member of their paparazzi team (see above) where Ali answered questions about Paula Deen’s use of the n-word. From the exchange, TMZ posted a headline that read “Laila Ali I’m Still In Paula Deen’s Corner” but the boxer claims the gossip site completely twisted her words to create a “juicy” story.

The daughter of the legendary Muhammad Ali said she was shocked when she first saw the story, telling Reid, “I stopped in my tracks, like wait a minute, no they didn’t”. Adding, “That wasn’t the place and time that I really wanted to get into how I feel about the whole Paula Deen situation, so I was being very vague on purpose, so for them to have said that was very irritating.”

Ali believes TMZ fabricated the headline for a better story, she explains, “If you watch the video, they obviously completely exaggerated and made up the headline which did not match my words. I guess what I said wasn’t juicy enough for them.”

The multi-talented celebrity says she was referring to Deen’s cooking ability in the TMZ interview, not her use of the n-word, and she wants people to know that she does not support Deen’s actions.

Ali exclusively told Reid, “It really didn’t surprise me that she used the n-word or maybe even still uses it, you know she’s an older woman from the deep south and she was probably brought up using the n-word as a regular part of conversation.”

Laila Ali Does Not Support Paula Deen: ‘[TMZ] Completely Exaggerated and Made up the Headline’  was originally published on

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