Paula Deen, the American celebrity chef, restaurateur, and EMMY AWARD winning television personality, had thousands of dollars' worth of jewellery stolen from her by former housekeeper MARY ALICE WHITE, reports the Los Angeles Times. White has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing valuables said to be worth up to $100,000 from Deen's Georgia home.
The housekeeper was arrested back in May 2010 after attempting to pawn a pair of $18,000 earrings as well as a valuable watch and bracelet, all of which belonged to Deen. A huge array of jewellery was reported missing from the chef's home, and White pleaded guilty to the theft charges last week, admitting that she took the valuables from the star's home over the course of her nine months of employment there. Providing evidence in the case, Deen told the judge, "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".
Authorities say that White, who had a similar theft conviction from 1993, will be on probation for six years.