A Louisiana district court judge who previously denied making racist remarks about African-American courtroom employees now says she’s “sorry” after owning up to the offensive language.
In an interview, Assumption Parrish Judge Jesse LeBlanc came clean about using the N-word while pertaining to a Black law clerk and a sheriff’s deputy in her district. Her comments came during a “heated” text exchange with then-boyfriend and former chief deputy Capt. Bruce Prejean, consistent with the outlet.
The racist texts are just the newest admission from the embattled judge, who drew criticism after acknowledging a years-long affair with Prejean.
LeBlanc offered an apology within an interview, saying: “I admit that I used that word. I profusely apologize for that. I should haven’t said it. it had been uncalled for. I used to be angry. I used to be upset. But, it’s no excuse.”
Pressed by the reporter if she had ever used the slur before, LeBlanc struggled to offer a straight answer.
“Not in a – no – not – no – not in a – no – I have not used that racial slur in the past,” she stammered. “This was in a moment of a heated exchange that was private between Bruce and I, that I never dreamed would have come out to the public.”
The messages in question were uncovered by Assumption Parish Sheriff Leland Falcon and brought from his former deputy’s phone, consistent with a report. Falcon, who questioned Prejean about the texts himself, argued that photocopies of the exchange show LeBlanc used the N-word while criticizing the Black courtroom workers.
One of the messages read: “At least I was NEVER unfaithful to you with ANYONE- much less a n—-r.” In a separate text, LeBlanc referred to one of her employees as a “thug n—-r.”
Falcon said copies of the messages weren’t altered, despite LeBlanc’s claims that they were, and said the sheriff’s office won’t conduct a forensic sweep of Prejean’s telephone .
“The messages represent themselves,” he told in an interview, “… and when enjoined by all the facts available to us, all of which we’ve made available to the media, the texts speak loudly and there’s no doubt on who sent them.”
LeBlanc acknowledged “lashing out” at her former lover after their affair ended last year. within the aftermath, she claims she received an anonymous package at her office containing Prejean’s phone records; highlighted was the telephone number of another judge’s law clerk, leading her to believe that Prejean which employee, who’s African-American, were also coupled up.
“In lashing out at him, in those text messages, I lashed out at two of his African-American friends,” she told an interviewer. “One of them being that law clerk. I did call them that name. They don’t deserve that. They deserve an apology from me. And, I sincerely apologize to both of them for using that word.”
The state and Baton Rouge chapters of the NAACP have since involved LeBlanc’s immediate resignation. Eugene Collins, president of the Baton Rouge NAACP, argued the judge’s impartiality had been compromised, and threatened to steer protests demanding her removal if she doesn’t step down willingly.
“She should be faraway from the bench,” Collins said.
Collins said she has no plans to resign and can run re-election once her term ends in December.
In the interview, LeBlanc insisted her remarks aren’t reflective of her personality, adding that she “has many African-American friends.”