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Friends say former cheerleader's enthusiasm, passion at heart of Virginia gift-giving scandal

Federal prosecutors say the former First Lady of Virginia repeatedly asked for financial favors from a businessman while her husband was in office.

A review of Maureen McDonnell's history shows while she was known to draw attention, she wasn't always seeking to live the high-life.

McDonnell is the third of nine children who primarily grew up in northern Virginia. She is a former Washington Redskins cheerleader who also says she has worked for the FBI and the State Department.

She met future husband and governor Bob McDonnell at a party when they were 19. After marriage, she supplemented the household income by selling vitamins and making drapes. Their children attended public schools.

But after Bob McDonnell became governor, prosecutors say she frequently outstretched her hand for cash and gifts.

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