Skip to comments.NY Daily News: Rush Limbaugh in Pill Probe -- Talk radio star had drug habit, maid sez
Posted on 10/01/2003 10:41:34 PM PDT by lainie
Talk-radio titan Rush Limbaugh is being investigated for allegedly buying thousands of addictive painkillers from a black-market drug ring.
The moralizing motormouth was turned in by his former housekeeper - who says she was Limbaugh's pill supplier for four years.
Wilma Cline, 42, says Limbaugh was hooked on the potent prescription drugs OxyContin, Lorcet and hydrocodone - and went through detox twice.
"There were times when I worried," Cline told the National Enquirer, which broke the story in an edition being published today. "All these pills are enough to kill an elephant - never mind a man."
Cline could not be reached for further comment yesterday, but her lawyer, Ed Shohat of Miami, said his client "stands behind the story."
The Daily News independently confirmed that Limbaugh is under investigation.
His lawyers, Jerry Fox and Dan Zachary, refused to comment on the accusations and said any "medical information" about him was private and not newsworthy.
They said Limbaugh - who has a top-rated syndicated radio show but resigned early today from a weekly ESPN football segment amid criticism of racial comments about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb - was traveling and had no comment.
The Palm Beach County state attorney's office, which is running the probe, said it could not confirm or deny the allegations.
Scoring in parking lot
Cline told the Enquirer she went to prosecutors with information about Limbaugh and others after four years of drug deals that included clandestine handoffs in a Denny's parking lot.
She said she wore a wire during her last two deliveries to the conservative commentator and gave the tapes to authorities.
She also gave the Enquirer a ledger documenting how many pills she claimed to have bought for him - 4,350 in one 47-day period - and E-mails she claimed Limbaugh sent her.
In one missive, Limbaugh pushed Cline to get more "little blues" - code for OxyContin, the powerful narcotic nicknamed hillbilly heroin, she said.
"You know how this stuff works ... the more you get used to, the more it takes," the May 2002 E-mail reads. "But I will try and cut down to help out."
The account Cline gave the Enquirer is that she became Limbaugh's drug connection in 1998, nine months after taking a housekeeping job at his Palm Beach mansion.
It started after her husband, David, hurt himself in a fall, and Limbaugh asked how he was.
"He asked me casually, 'Is he getting any pain medication?' I said, 'Yes - he's had surgery, and the doctor gave him hydro-codone 750,'" Cline said. "To my astonishment, he said, 'Can you spare a couple of them?'"
Cline said she gave Limbaugh 10 pills the next day and agreed to give him 30 of her husband's pills each month. When the doctor stopped renewing the prescription in early 1999, Limbaugh allegedly went ballistic.
"His tone was nasty and bullying. He said, 'I don't care how or what you do, but you'd better - better! - get me some more,'" Cline said.
The housekeeper said she found a new supplier and arranged to hide Limbaugh's stashes under his mattress so his wife, Marta, wouldn't find them.
After several months, Limbaugh told her he was going to New York for detox and didn't need any more pills, Cline said.
But a month later, he said his left ear was hurting and asked her for hydrocodone, followed by an order for OxyContin.
Limbaugh, 52, suffered from autoimmune ear disease, a condition that left him deaf and had to be corrected with cochlear implant surgery two years ago.
Cline said she continued to make deliveries to Limbaugh even after she quit as his housekeeper in July 2001 - but he became increasingly paranoid, even patting her down for recording devices, she said.
In June 2002, Limbaugh told her he was going to New York for detox a second time.
After he returned, "I went to talk to him, and he cried a little bit," she said. "He told me that if it ever got out, he would be ruined."
She claimed that a lawyer for Limbaugh gave her a payoff - $80,000 he owed her, plus another $120,000 - and asked her to destroy the computer that contained the E-mail records.
Soon after, Cline and her husband retained Shohat and contacted prosecutors.
I suppose it is possible that Rush did not trust doctors to keep giving him the meds he craved; after all, lately doctors are not likely to be later blamed for feeding the habits of celebrities and leading to their deaths. So many stories have come out. So perhaps getting OTHER people's prescriptions would have been his only way.
It sounds like Marta did NOT know about this.
If they really do have tapes, it's not like people wouldn't recognize that voice.
I would have respect for Rush if he had come on the air and told us he had accidentally gotten in over his head with pain medication. I think we all would have prayed for him and been there for him as he attempted to get help.
However, this sneakiness and illegality is horrendous. We expect so much MORE from Rush. Also, he REPRESENTS us, in some ways. He now makes us all look like phonies. If only he had not gone the illegal route.
Innocent until proven guilty, I need to remind myself, but this looks bad.
My heart is actually sore about this.
But don't delete this, snicker, snicker....
Are you interested in a bridge I have for sale?
well folks, i've known some folks who had some serious drug problems. however, i have never known anyone who could take this much medication in this time period and live.
not only does the amount seem way out of line (even if he was hoarding), but el-rushbo is sending the maid to get his drugs??? regular, middle class, drug addicts manage to get a doctor (or two) to write a scrip - do you think rush has got to go to the streets? pleeze. tell it someone who doesn't know about this stuff.
i smell a RAT.
But anyone with that much money can finger out how to get the stuff by the bottle, via the (aforementioned) sleazy doctor's narcotics license.
There are all sorts of ways around the "system" of accounting for legal narcotics (if you're wealthy)... How do you think Holeywood stays as stupid as it is, all the time?
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