Mary Alice White is sentenced to 18 months in prison after admitting to thieving from the celebrity chef

By Tim Nudd
Updated December 21, 2010 11:05 AM
Brian Killian/WireImage

An unsavory chapter in Paula Deen’s life has come to a close, as a former housekeeper has been sentenced to jail for stealing jewelry from the Food Network chef.

Mary Alice White of Savannah, Ga., received 18 months in prison followed by six years of probation after pleading guilty in the case, the Savannah Morning News reports.

“The scars she left behind emotionally can’t begin to be measured. Our hearts are sad,” Deen, 63, told the judge. She added: “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 … She used our love and kindness against” us.

Deen’s husband, Michael Groover, told the judge that when he told his wife of the theft, she “cried and said, ‘Oh no, not my Mary.’ ”

Police said White pawned some $27,500 worth of jewelry owned by Deen. The chef and her husband reported some $100,000 worth of jewelry missing between Aug. 1, 2009, and May 1, 2010.

Groover added: “Nobody but Mary knows everything she stole from us.”