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Paula Deen's brother-in-law died by suicide

Christina Marfice

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Christina is a reporter based in Boise, Idaho. She's a veteran vegetarian, a political junkie and a huge grammar snob. On the weekends, she can usually be found binging on Netflix, playing the piano or petting her cats, Daisy and Dandelion.

Shortly after being accused of sexual abuse, Paula Deen's brother-in-law takes his own life

Radar Online reports that Paula Deen‘s brother-in-law Henry Groover III has committed suicide after being served with a lawsuit alleging he sexually abused a young man for years.

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A source reportedly told the site that Groover killed himself after receiving the lawsuit, which called him a "sexual predator" and said he was "well known to some in the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan area as a pedophile." The lawsuit alleges that from the years 1983 to present... [Groover] lured and otherwise enticed the minor into the illegal sexual acts," and that Groover "used LSD, alcohol, MDMA, cocaine and other illicit substances to lure and otherwise attract" the minor for "illegal, lewd and explicit sexual acts."

The young man claims that he has "endured grievous personal injury and continues to this day to suffer extreme anguish which has affected every element of his life," and was seeking monetary damages from Groover.

The family of the young man told Radar that they decided to sue Groover now because he moved to a home near theirs, where he could "continuously observe the plaintiff’s family," they allege.

Police confirmed to Radar that they are investigating Groover's death as a suicide.

Groover, a Dominican priest, served as a spiritual advisor to Deen, she has said. He was the brother of Deen's husband, Michael Groover.

Mark Tate, the attorney representing the young man who accused Groover of abuse, gave a statement to Radar, saying, "Clearly this sad man knew that all his sins were about to be revealed in a way he could not any longer deny nor live with. It’s a sad ending for a sad man made only worse by the untold numbers of children whose lives were ruined by his perversions."

More: Paula Deen opens new store, stumbles down memory lane

If you suspect someone might be considering suicide, or you have struggled with those thoughts yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Shortly after being accused of sexual abuse, Paula Deen's brother-in-law takes his own life
Image: ABC/Craig Sjodin
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