Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Hollywood Stars Walk as Prosecutors Target Rush
newsmax.com ^ | Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004 | James Hirsen

Posted on 01/14/2004 7:56:50 PM PST by paltz

Check this out: The Beverly Hills Police Department has served a subpoena on the banking records of a Hollywood star.

A recent report in the National Enquirer that the celebrity had a pill addiction – proof of this came from a paid tip to the tabloid from the star’s maid - has caught the notice here in Tinseltown among the cops and the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.

Authorities, unable to prosecute the star on the basis of an addiction alone, are examining whether the celebrity engaged in money laundering or doctor shopped their prescriptions, a felony in California.

Pretty heady stuff.

But it never happened, and probably never will.

Such star treatment doesn’t seem to apply to Rush Limbaugh, who developed an addiction to painkillers after a surgical procedure in the late 1990s.

The charge of doctor-shopping is practically unheard of on the Left Coast, where celebrity visits to Dr. Feelgoods followed by ritualistic visits to rehab centers rank up there with the number of stiletto heels in Paris Hilton’s closet.

The list of the addicted and famous is huge.

It includes such luminaries as Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Downey Jr., Kelsey Grammer, Tim Allen, Matthew Perry, Charlie Sheen, Billy Joel, Christian Slater, Ozzy Osbourne, Jack Osbourne, Ben Affleck, Paula Poundstone, Tawny Kitaen and Nick Nolte.

Somehow, whether for pain or thrill, Tinseltown poppers or would-be shoppers never seem to be pursued with the same vigor as Rush seems to be.

In fact, the opposite is true.

Those in La-La Land who end up seeking professional help for their drug problems are generally praised for their courage, honesty and freshly lipo-sucked abs. Then they’re given a plum role in an Aaron Sorkin series.

Just Some of the Famously Addicted

One recent example of a celeb who hit the rehab trail is Ozzy Osbourne, the heavy-metal rocker who became a star of "reality" TV. When Osbourne’s addiction to prescription painkillers became a news story, there was plenty of talk about prosecution. But not of Osbourne. Instead, authorities started pointing accusatory fingers at the doctor who had treated him.

According to the Los Angeles Times, physician-to-the-stars Dr. David Kipper allegedly dispensed 13,000 doses of more than 30 drugs to Osbourne in only one year. Osbourne said the doctor gave him tranquilizers, amphetamines, opiates, anti-depressants and an anti-psychotic drug. Treatments were carried out in "hotel detoxes," a celebrity favorite typically done anonymously in private luxury suites.

In 2003 Ozzy’s 17-year-old son, Jack, checked into Las Encinas rehab clinic in California. The clinic provides treatment for alcohol and drug abuse.

Evidently, the staff protected the privacy of Ozzy’s offspring during the visit and declined to confirm the addiction, although Jack later admitted that he had become addicted to prescription drugs, including OxyContin.

Matthew Perry had an overly friendly encounter with painkillers. He entered rehab in 1997 for the "early stages of chemical dependency." People magazine reported that he became addicted to Vicodin as a result of problems with a wisdom tooth and pain related to injuries from an accident on a watercraft.

In 2001, Perry entered a rehab hospital again. This time, though, his publicist indicated that it was for an undisclosed ailment. The publicist told the public that Perry appreciated the concern of the fans and thanked them "for respecting his privacy."

In 2002, when actress Tawny Kitaen beat up her husband, all-star pitcher Chuck Finley, she was charged with spousal injury and battery. She was also accused of using a long list of prescription drugs.

After Finley charged in legal documents that Kitaen suffered from "addiction" and "inattention to parenting," she reportedly admitted she’d become addicted to prescription medications and said she was starting rehab. Her lawyer told the press that the charges would be dismissed when the treatment was finished.

Charlie Sheen, son of Martin Sheen and star of the sitcom "Two and a Half Men," has been a drug addict, heavy drinker (two quarts of vodka a day) and frequent Heidi Fleiss flyer.

He checked into drug rehab in 1990 but fell off the wagon. In May 1998, Sheen overdosed in his home. To avoid jail he entered rehab, and this time the treatment stuck. Hollywood patted Sheen on the back and gave him a Golden Globe for his role in the foundering "Spin City."

Then there's Aaron Sorkin himself, leftist creator of the Democrat fantasy series "The West Wing." Busted for drugs in April 2001, he was sentenced to a "diversion program."

Chums insisted Sorkin's drug bust was a one-time lapse, but he proved them wrong in August 2001 when he boasted to a magazine that he had abused crack cocaine as well as marijuana and said, "If you use drugs long enough you forget how to celebrate without them."

Secret Addictions

Billy Joel, who has admitted to past problems with substance abuse, called off some concert dates in his Face to Face Tour 2002 with Elton John to seek help.

His record label initially stated that the cancellations were due to throat problems. But news surfaced that the singer/songwriter entered Silver Hill rehab center in New Canaan, Conn., to battle a "specific and personal problem that had recently developed."

Silver Hill is one of the preferred addiction treatment centers. Clients include Nick Nolte, Liza Minnelli, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Gregg Allman and Mariah Carey.

In 2001, Ben Affleck sought treatment for alcohol abuse at the exclusive Promises rehab facility in posh, trendy Malibu. Clients of the center include Charlie Sheen, Christian Slater, Tim Allen and Paula Poundstone.

Promises has become a popular destination for celebrities in need of rehab.

According to the facility's Web site, Promises offers "individualized treatment for drug addiction, alcoholism and other chemical dependencies," which includes "daily educational lectures, relapse prevention skills, group therapy sessions, equine therapy and art therapy."

Another celeb who took the Promises path in 2002 was Diana Ross. According to her publicist, she was treated at the Malibu facility to "clear up some personal issues."

Celebrity Criminal Law 101

After being arrested the previous year on charges of committing lewd acts against a child and child endangerment, Paula Poundstone completed rehab in 2002.

The D.A. had dropped the charge of lewd acts. Poundstone pleaded no contest to felony child endangerment and a misdemeanor. She received a sentence of five years' probation and six months' drug treatment.

Nick Nolte had an unforgettable mug shot moment in 2003 that made the post-captured Saddam Hussein look GQ worthy. Nolte was charged with being under the influence of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), a chemical compound known as the "date rape" drug. Three days after the arrest, he checked into a drug and alcohol abuse rehabilitation center. Later he headed for Silver Hill.

Things recently got complicated for Nicole Richie.

Paris Hilton’s sidekick on "The Simple Life" appeared in a Malibu courtroom on a felony drug-possession case three days after the TV show debuted. Richie is on court-supervised probation, a common form of celebrity justice. She’s due back in court in March for another report to the judge.

Robert Downey Jr. has a history of substance abuse dating back to 1996, when the actor was arrested for, among other things, being in possession of heroin, crack and cocaine.

After walking away from his court-ordered drug rehab program, he was sentenced to three years' probation. He violated parole and was sentenced to six months in jail.

In 1999 Downey started a three-year prison sentence for another parole violation. In 2000 he was arrested for cocaine and Valium possession. The following year he was honored twice over with a Golden Globe and an Emmy.

And so it goes.

Time to Crack Down

In Florida, authorities have had a similar attitude toward persons with addictions – until Rush Limbaugh.

The Palm Beach Post recently reported that over the last five years, the number of cases of doctor-shopping that have been fully prosecuted in Palm Beach County is zero.

This tidbit hasn’t seemed to deter the prosecutors who now are on a fishing expedition, rummaging through Rush’s financial and medical records in an apparent effort to get him.

Add to that the bevy of pundits, partisans and paparazzi who are now digging for dirt on the legendary radio personality but who have typically given a "who cares" look at Tinseltown malfeasance.

As the Limbaugh case moves forward, you can bet that 20 million of his closest friends will be watching – and hoping he gets equal treatment under the law and a fair shake.

Editor's note:
Get NewsMax's special report on Rush -- Click Here

Read more on this subject in related Hot Topics:
Rush Limbaugh
Media Bias


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: doublestandard; hollywoodleft; jimhirsen; rush
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-47 next last

1 posted on 01/14/2004 7:56:51 PM PST by paltz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: paltz
"As the Limbaugh case moves forward, you can bet that 20 million of his closest friends will be watching – and hoping he gets equal treatment under the law and a fair shake.

I wouldn't count on that. Bill and Hillary will try to see to that.

2 posted on 01/14/2004 8:07:56 PM PST by blackbart.223
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: paltz
Celebrity status is irrelevant in this case, as we have not yet codified a separate justice system for the rich and famous. It would be much more relevant if this article compared how Rush is being treated to how all others in the same circumstances are treated -- both celebrities and non-celebrities.

The fact is, there are other cases in Florida of non-celebrity people (in some cases veterans) becoming addicted to painkillers then being arrested for doctor shopping. Anyone who believes Rush should not be prosecuted should likewise take up the cause of all the anonymous citizens arrested for doing the same thing. Equal protection under the law. /rant
4 posted on 01/14/2004 8:17:02 PM PST by ellery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: paltz
I just caught the last 10 minutes of Roy Black on Scaraborough's show. He was saying the same things...and that this is a witch hunt. The fact that they have gone from a drug-ring to money laundering to now searching Rush's medical files, indicates they are looking for something they don't have. Black also pointed out that someone in the prosecutors office is leaking (unsubstantiated) material to the media in violation of federal law. As he put it...this is a witch hunt.
5 posted on 01/14/2004 8:18:13 PM PST by cwb ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blackbart.223
Isn't Tommy Chong sitting in jail for selling bongs? No, all this drug prosecution crap is a waste of my money. I don't care if people want to be stupid, there's no law against it. If they want to concentrate on dealers only, I could probably live with that...but adult users put behind bars on my dollar...puhleeze.
6 posted on 01/14/2004 8:24:12 PM PST by Katya
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ellery
"The fact is, there are other cases in Florida of non-celebrity people (in some cases veterans) becoming addicted to painkillers then being arrested for doctor shopping."

Could you please provide a link for this claim. According to Black and a story done on FNC, there has never been a conviction for the crime of Dr. Shopping...in Florida. In fact, the story pointed out that since 1987, only one case was brought foward but the defendant was involved in more than just Dr. Shopping...and he died before the case came to court. Source please.
7 posted on 01/14/2004 8:25:32 PM PST by cwb ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: paltz
It used to be that conservatives could claim that liberals held such absurd ideas because they were on drugs. Thanks to Rush, we can no longer use this line.

I'm not pleased with him.

8 posted on 01/14/2004 8:31:33 PM PST by JoeSchem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ellery
The Palm Beach Post recently reported that over the last five years, the number of cases of doctor-shopping that have been fully prosecuted in Palm Beach County is zero.

The article would seem to contradict your "facts". Care to provide us with the names of those ordinary people who you allege were prosecuted?

9 posted on 01/14/2004 8:33:45 PM PST by Auntie Dem (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Terrorist lovers gotta go!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: paltz
The "everyone else is doing it" defense?

Dumb argument (irrespective of Rush's case.)
10 posted on 01/14/2004 8:34:25 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cwboelter
If Rush supports the drug laws, he should turn himself in, demand to be charged and plead guilty. His actions speak louder than his words. Drug laws apply to others, not to Rush.

If I had one question to ask Rush, I'd ask him this: "Rush, you've said one reason you support drug prohibition is that drugs destroy people's souls. You're a drug addict, was your soul destroyed?"

11 posted on 01/14/2004 8:46:18 PM PST by Jabba the Nutt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: paltz
But Mom! Billy stole and torched the car, I only stole a car! Why am I getting grounded! At least I didn't burn it!

No Fair!
12 posted on 01/14/2004 8:46:57 PM PST by BiffWondercat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ellery
The fact is, there are other cases in Florida of non-celebrity people (in some cases veterans) becoming addicted to painkillers then being arrested for doctor shopping.

How many cases (overall and per year) and what is the usual result in conviction ratios and sentencing of those convicted? I've been kinda thinkin' that the whole thing would have been handled differently if it wasn't about Rush (and I'm not particularly interested in Rush one way or the other).

13 posted on 01/14/2004 8:53:45 PM PST by templar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Jabba the Nutt
"If Rush supports the drug laws, he should turn himself in..."

I guess I missed it...but what law has he been charged with breaking?
14 posted on 01/14/2004 8:54:11 PM PST by cwb ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Jabba the Nutt
If Rush supports the drug laws,

Where'd you see or hear that anyway?

The enquirer or the evening news?

Seems to me this is a presumption without basis - a LOT of that going around lately ...

15 posted on 01/14/2004 8:56:49 PM PST by _Jim ( <--- Ann Coulter speaks on gutless Liberals (RealAudio files))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Jabba the Nutt
It must be nice to afford drug rehab. Most of the crack addicts I've known didn't have that option. They just wondered how much time they had left. There is no hope. No future. No self esteem. Not even the chance of a real funeral with a real casket. They truly did lose their souls to despair. It's nothing to joke about.
16 posted on 01/14/2004 9:04:48 PM PST by bayourod ( Dean's anti-terrorism plan: "treat people with respect and they will treat you with respect"12/1/03)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: paltz
As usual, Newsmax simply throws a bunch of stuff against the wall, hopes at least some of it will stick, and hopes most of its readers won't realize what a load of crap it is. In nearly all of the examples cited in the article, the celebrities were charged with crimes and had their cases adjudicated! So if Newsmax really wanted Rush to be treated the same way as these Hollywood stars, it would be demanding that Rush be arrested, and then make sure that Rush gets the same opportunities to plead guilty to a lesser offense and be sent to a diversion program like many of the celebs.
17 posted on 01/14/2004 9:05:31 PM PST by drjimmy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cwboelter
No problem. A quick google turned up these two recent references from Florida -- this, from by no means a comprehensive search:

"In addition, Sheriff’s detectives arrest 28 St. Lucie County residents on prescription fraud, “doctorshopping” and other drug-related offenses."
http://www.stluciesheriff.com/annual-report/2001/ar_2001_11-15.pdf

"In July, 24 people were arrested as part of a drug sting in St. Lucie County, where law enforcement and pharmacies cooperated to disrupt an informal distribution network. Most of the 24 who were arrested were once legitimately ill or disabled and living off Social Security or veteran’s benefits that enabled them to get prescriptions."
FDLE Office of Statewide Intelligence Prescription Drug Abuse – August 2001
http://216.239.37.104/search?q=cache:NiC8jgWB6LcJ:www.fdle.state.fl.us/OSI/CrimeBriefs/RxAbuse.pdf+oxycontin+arrest+statistics&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
18 posted on 01/14/2004 9:16:19 PM PST by ellery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Auntie Dem
I said "Florida." Please see post 18.
19 posted on 01/14/2004 9:17:30 PM PST by ellery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: cwboelter
Without providing reference, I believe I've read here on Freep that in Palm Beach County that there has been one other doctor shopping charge filed in the five years since the legislature passed the law, and the DA's office did that in an attempt to get information on drug dealers. I researched the number of police officers, etc. in Palm Beach County and the FBI stats on crime there. It came out to something like 72,000 crime reports a year for crimes against people and property. These numbers included murder, rape, aggravated assault, burglary, armed robbery, and theft of motor vehicles. It does not include any vice crimes, such as gambling, prostitution or drug sales or use. According to the Palm Beach County web site, there are something like 1100 sworn officers. The population base given on the first link is 1,097,962, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office lists served population at just over 600,000, so I'd assume the city has another 800 or so sworn police officers. This still comes out to over thirty crimes per day per sworn officer before even looking at vice operations, money laundering, embezzlement, shoplifting, simple assault, traffic accidents, suicides, drownings, etc.

With the number of police and DA office hours that have already been put into Limbaugh's case, it's obvious that he's being targeted.

Another poster (I'll ping him in a minute), wrote to you that there is uneven enforcement of drug laws. This is true, and there are several reasons. In Texas, where I live, small town cops are mostly bored. They'll pull you over for a license plate light being out. I've had a guy jump a median and follow me for two miles to pull me over for not signalling a lane change when there wasn't a car within a half mile of me on my side of the highway. One guy pulled me over, asked for my license, shot the sh*t for about 10 minutes and then let me go without ever telling me why he stopped me. A two ounce marijuana bust is a BIG deal to these guys.

In larger cities in Texas, you've got to DO something for cops to bother with you. I made a fire with my FD (big city), and the fire was started by the guy's marijuana lamp. He gutted a couple of apartments, but there was still a lot of dope around his place. Police were already on scene. We asked them what to do, they said "who cares?" and left. We made him pour it out and promise never to be burning down multiple apartments with his marijuana light again.

I've got mixed feelings about drug legalization, but for the most part, drug laws are a tool to lean on people or a way to have a 100% solved crime rate, since nobody files a crime report on drugs unless a bust is made.

20 posted on 01/14/2004 9:19:13 PM PST by Richard Kimball
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-47 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson