Robert De Niro
A housekeeper for such stars as Robert De Niro and Candace Bergen has been sentenced to one to three years in prison for "cleaning out" – as opposed to just plain cleaning – her clients' homes.
New York State Supreme Court Justice Renee White ignored the pleas of the weeping defendant, Lucyna Turyk-Wawrynowicz, to let her return immediately to Poland despite her plea two weeks ago of being guilty to charges of grand larceny, forgery and identity theft, the Associated Press reports.
"I would like the judge to allow me to go home," Turyk-Wawrynowicz, 35, said through tears and a Polish interpreter on Tuesday, telling the judge that her sister died recently and left behind several young children. "They have no one to take care of them," said the maid.
But advising Turyk-Wawrynowicz that she had "shown no remorse for your actions, but only remorse for your predicament," the judge said she would hand down the sentence rather than a ticket home. "You worked not just by cleaning and dusting, but by cleaning out the property of the various employers you worked for."
When she pleaded guilty to grand larceny, Turyk-Wawrynowicz admitted stealing diamond earrings from De Niro's wife, which Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Anne Schwartz said were worth $95,500. The lead investigator on the case also said the maid took Hightower's shoes and Bergen's leather jacket and cameras.
The judge said she wanted Turyk-Wawrynowicz to do prison time "so that you get an idea of the punishment that is involved when you violate the laws of this country."