Housekeeper who stole from Paula Deen sentenced

Photo by Jimmy Chavez

Photo by Jimmy Chavez

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The former housekeeper of celebrity chef Paula Deen, an Albany native, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing jewelry from the Food Network star.

The Savannah Morning News reports that Mary Alice White appeared in court last week to admit she repeatedly took jewelry from Deen's Wilmington Island home during her nine months of employment. She was also sentenced to six years' probation.

White was charged with theft on May 5 after she tried to pawn a pair of $18,000 earrings at a Savannah pawn shop. Authorities say Deen reported $100,000 worth of men's and women's jewelry was taken from her home over several months.

A message left by The Associated Press at a phone number listed under White's name was not immediately returned.