As police dig into their suicide investigation of Paula Deen’s alleged “pedophile” priest brother-in-law , Henry Groover III, neighbors told RadarOnline.com that they are completely “shocked” and “saddened” to hear that an accused "sexual predator" was so close to their children for all these years!
Henry — known as Hank by longtime neighbors who told RadarOnline.com they consider themselves “like family” — is the brother of Deen’s husband Michael Groover and the man Deen called her “spiritual advisor.” In fact, he had been spending time on the Groover family compound in Savannah for the past two months, according to neighbors, after bouncing back-and-forth between New Orleans and Texas for his work as a priest.
A few neighbors, who choose to remain anonymous, told RadarOnline.com that they grew up with brothers Hank, Mike and Nick in the same neighborhood where the Groover family has had property for decades. One said they “have nothing but good things to say about the whole family.”
Another neighbor told RadarOnline.com he found out about the bombshell new lawsuit that has accused Henry of drugging and sexually assaulting a young man this past weekend by simply reading the news, and was astonished, saying, “Oh my God, this can’t be the Hank that I know.”
Indeed, for years after moving away, Henry would come back to the neighborhood to visit family during the summer, and over holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“Paula and Mike used to live a few doors down until they moved, always inviting us over,” the neighbor said, “and Nick and his wife still live there along the road where Henry visits. We were all so close. We had each other’s alarm codes and would look out for each other’s houses when someone was traveling! Nothing suspicious ever came up regarding Henry.”
Though his kids are now older, the neighbor said he “never had a worry” when it came to Henry, but it’s definitely “sad to hear” when something like this happens “to people you think you know.”
He added, “I most recently saw Hank about two weeks ago — he was sitting on his porch and we waved to each other as I drove by. A week or so before that, Hank was cutting his grass. Nothing out of the ordinary, but everyone has their dirty laundry, I guess.”
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