Paula Deen has been married to her second husband Michael Groover for almost 15 years, and her fans are just as enamored with him as they are with her. Get to know the guy yourself.
Michael is a tugboat captain in Savannah, GA, where he and Paula live. He was born in 1956, which makes him 62 — and nine years younger than his wife.
The two were neighbors, and when Paula’s dogs got out, they ventured into Michael’s yard. Their first date was the next day, when Michael took Paula out for a ride on her new boat.
And, uh, her legs. Apparently, they incited a “woah.”
Both Paula and Michael have been married before — in fact, Michael’s previous marriage had just ended when he met the chef. A couple years after that first encounter, the two tied that not at Bethesda Academy in Savannah. The whole thing was broadcast on Food Network, and Paula likes to look back on the day. On her 12th anniversary, she released her wedding day menu on her site, and it was full of Southern favorites like pickled okra sandwiches, crab-stuffed shrimp, and fried collard greens.
They’ve even taken to Facebook to publicly wish him a happy birthday. “We’re glad to have you as a part of our family because you always make Mom so happy,” they wrote last year.
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It covers his life pre- and post-Paula, including his Southern upbringing and marrying a super famous chef. And you didn’t think Mr. Paula Deen would publish a book without recipes, right? There are a collection of his favorites, including deviled crab and banana pudding.
Paula’s diabetes diagnosis inspired Michael to become healthier, too. The two of them, plus Paula’s two sons, took a weight loss journey together, losing a collective 178 pounds. Michael lost 60 alone. Instead of completely ditching Paula’s signature butter-heavy cooking, they just learned to eat it in moderation.
The first time he got in front of the camera was in 2011, on Paula’s Best Dishes. Michael and Paula cooked up a whole seafood spread — a nod to his job as a tugboat captain. Once, he even made a cameo on Bobby’s (Paula’s son) show.
In 2015, Paula quietly transferred the deed of the Savannah home she shared with Michael since 2004 to her husband. The documents Paula filed state it was a “deed of gift” and that she handed it to Michael “for and in consideration of her natural love and affection for her husband,” according to Page Six.
One started when people assumed the gifting of the house deed was part of a quiet divorce settlement. Previously, there were accusations that Paula was leaving Michael because of an alleged affair with a brunette neighbor.
During a 2017 interview, Paula was asked how she felt about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. She tried to deflect by volunteering her husband’s viewpoint: “I’m not a sports person,” Paula said, “but I can tell you my husband’s a little disgusted with it.”