updated 6/22/2005 10:48:21 AM ET 2005-06-22T14:48:21

A housekeeper who worked in the homes of some of Manhattan's rich and famous was charged with stealing diamond earrings and expensive clothing from clients and making purchases on at least one of their credit cards.

Authorities did not say who the alleged victims were, but published reports Wednesday said Lucyna Turyk-Wawrynowicz was accused of stealing from Candice Bergen, Isabella Rossellini and Robert De Niro and his wife, Grace Hightower.

Prosecutor Anne Schwartz said Turyk-Wawrynowicz, 35, of Queens, stole from at least three clients in the past four years. She was arraigned Tuesday on charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, forgery and coercion.

In the first case, dating from March 2001, Turyk-Wawrynowicz used a client's credit card 16 times to make purchases at Barney's, a high-end clothing store, Barbara Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney's office, said Tuesday.

"I did not think you would notice," she allegedly told the client when confronted.

A year later, while working for a different client, she allegedly stole a brown suede jacket costing more than $1,000. When the client confronted her, Turyk-Wawrynowicz threatened to tell the media she had been sexually harassed by the client's husband, prosecutors said.

Last month, Turyk-Wawrynowicz allegedly swiped several items, including diamond earrings with a purchase price of $95,000, from a client's home.

The earrings and suede jacket were recovered from Turyk-Wawrynowicz's home Monday night, Thompson said. The Daily News and New York Post quoted sources as saying the earrings belong to De Niro's wife.

Another victim?
The district attorney's office said Wednesday it could not confirm the newspaper reports.

Schwartz said a fourth victim came forward Tuesday, but details were not immediately available.

The housekeeper's lawyer, Jeffrey Berman, said Turyk-Wawrynowicz had come to the United States from Poland several years ago and had worked variously as a nanny, cook and housekeeper for several "high-profile celebrity individuals."

He said she had impeccable references, was on good terms with many former employers and has no criminal history. He said she is living in the country legally.

Turyk-Wawrynowicz is due back in court Friday.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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