Paula Deen’s first marriage disintegrated into a living hell – and The National ENQUIRER has exclusively obtained the bombshell divorce papers that prove it!

According to the court documents, Paula and first husband Jimmy Deen “separated on or about July 17, 1992, and … acknowledge there exists no chance of reconciliation.”

The 17-year marriage was “irretrievably broken,” the papers said, and the star chef revealed there was one big reason the union was doomed to fail.

“He drank, and he drank way too much to suit me,” she wrote in her 2007 memoir, “Paula Deen: It Ain’t All About the Cookin’.”

“Even one or two beers was too much, because that’s all it would take to drive him away from me.”

Paula married Jimmy, her high school sweetheart, in 1965 when she was 18. He fathered her sons Jamie, 47, and Bobby, 44.

A year into the marriage, Paula was rocked by the loss of her father, Earl, who died from injuries in a car crash.

More heartbreak hit four years later when Paula’s
beloved mother, Corrie, died from bone cancer.

Paula faced further turmoil as she struggled with her husband’s drinking and inability to hold down a job, even while she battled panic attacks and agoraphobia.

Despite her troubles, Paula launched a lunch delivery service, called The Bag Lady, out of her home. It was so successful that she opened her first restaurant, The Lady, in Savannah, Ga., in 1991.

But while her business boomed, her marriage crashed.

She filed for divorce and according to the court documents, was awarded $300 in monthly alimony. Jimmy was also ordered to cover the cost of medical insurance for Paula and their boys.

Paula met her current husband and former tugboat captain, Michael Groover, in 2002. He was divorced and living in Savannah with his two children at the time.

The couple married in 2004 and made it through last year’s scandal when Paula was caught on tape using racial slurs. The Food Network fired her and Paula lost several lucrative endorsement deals.

Now there are doubts her marriage to Michael will last. Sources have told The ENQUIRER that Michael carried on a relationship with a sexy, middle-aged brunette, which he denied.

“It’s beginning to look like history is repeating itself,” the source said.