Paula Deen is sadly mourning the loss of a close family member.
The 69-year-old celebrity chef’s brother-in-law Henry Groover III has sadly died, Radar Online reported on Wednesday, Jan. 18.
A source told the entertainment news outlet that he committed suicide in Savannah, GA. Henry is the brother of Paula’s husband, Michael Groover, 61.
In a previous interview, Paula referred to her brother-in-law — who worked as a priest — as her “spiritual advisor.” The TV star and her husband, Michael, have yet to publicly release a statement about Henry’s death.
Paula during a 2013 interview.
Paula and Michael — a Georgia-based tugboat captain — tied the knot at Bethesda Academy in Savannah, GA in 2004. Their wedding was featured in a Food Network special. The chef has two sons, Jamie Deen, 49, and Bobby Deen, 46, with her first husband, Jimmy Deen whom she was married to from 1965 until 1989.
Paula previously opened up about the importance of family in a February 2015 sit-down with People.
“Just being at home with my family, we all live within a two-mile radius of each other. Our brothers and sisters, our kids and grandchildren. That keeps me very grounded and keeps life very very normal for me,” she said at the time.
Paula with her husband, Michael, and her two sons in 2014.
In 2013, Paula made headlines for publicly using racist language — and likened the controversy to dealing with “a death in the family.”
“My darkest moment was when I had to face the fact that I had hurt people,” the Food Network star said. “I know that when you lose a family member that there’s certain emotions you’re going to go through: loneliness, sadness, self-pity certainly is one of them, desertion is one of them, fear is another one… You got to experience all of those emotions.”
“I had to give a very heartfelt, ‘I’m sorry, I’m so sorry’ and then I had to forgive myself. When I did that, then I could get in the wagon and we could all move forward,” Paula said.