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Paula Deen appears in a 2010 promotional photo posted on the Food Networks website. - Provided courtesy of Food Network

Paula Deen's ex-housekeeper sentenced to prison for stealing jewelry

12/21/2010 by Corinne Heller

Paula Deen's former housekeeper Mary Alice White was recently sentenced to 18 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from the Food Network star.

White, a Georgia resident, also received six months of probation and was ordered by a judge to repay Deen and her husband Michael Groover $6,000.

"The scars she left behind emotionally can't begin to be measured. Our hearts are sad," Deen, 63, told the judge, according to the Savannah Morning News, which carried the report. "Mary White is the most feared and destroying kind of thief you may ever run up against. Mary was a master at making you think she cares about you."

White had worked for the couple for nine months. Police said she pawned $27,500 in jewelry owned by Deen and Groover said about $100,000 worth disappeared from his and his wife's home between August 2009 and May 2010. White was arrested at that time after she tried to pawn a $7,000 Rolex watch and $2,5000 bracelet, the newspaper said.

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