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Rush Limbaugh in pill probe
New York Daily News ^ | 10/02/03 | TRACY CONNOR

Posted on 10/02/2003 1:21:45 AM PDT by kattracks

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?'"

Husband's pills

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.

Feeling no pain

The drugs Rush Limbaugh is accused of abusing are legal only with a doctor's prescription. All are habit-forming.

- Hydrocodone

Anti-cough agent and painkiller similar to morphine. Side effects include anxiety, poor mental performance, emotional dependence, drowsiness, mood changes, difficulty breathing and itchiness.

- Lorcet

Brand name for the combination of Tylenol and hydrocodone, prescribed for moderate to severe pain. Side effects include dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, dizziness, tiredness, muscle twitches, sweating and itching.

- OxyContin

Potent time-release medication for relief of moderate to severe pain, known as hillbilly heroin because of black-market popularity in some rural areas. Side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, sweating, muscle twitches and decreased sex drive. A large dose can be fatal.

Originally published on October 2, 2003

TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: eib; nationalenquirer; rush; rushlimbaugh; slander; vicadin; wodlist
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1 posted on 10/02/2003 1:21:45 AM PDT by kattracks
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3 posted on 10/02/2003 1:24:24 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: William Creel
Holy cr@p! Whoa, Rush is having the bad week from hell!
5 posted on 10/02/2003 1:56:18 AM PDT by Madstrider
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To: kattracks

Remember, Rush is considered the biggest weapon of democrat/liberal/leftist mass destruction on the planet. Next to Bush, he is the Big Target. It would not surprise me to see an all-out war against him by the enemy.
6 posted on 10/02/2003 2:02:51 AM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: Madstrider
Rush must have been on drugs to make the comment he made on ESPN. I have been thinking why would he commit careeracide with the libs all sitting there waiting? But 4700 pills in one month hard to believe. Quick trip to rehab like the lefties and he'll be fine.
8 posted on 10/02/2003 2:12:03 AM PDT by Blacksheep
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To: kattracks; All
Speaking only for myself, in a half-century of living, I've taken codeine for assorted broken bones, abcessed teeth, and a variety of other injuries, and the stuff just makes me feel slow and stupid.

You may recall that right before 9-11, the usual suspects in the Jackal Pack Press were trying to paint oxycontin as the new Demon Drug-- there were stories of crazed codeine-heads driving maniacally all night through trailer parks to get their fix.

I though it was a pile of garbage then, and still do.

9 posted on 10/02/2003 2:13:11 AM PDT by backhoe (Just an old Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the trackball into the Sunset...)
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To: kattracks
This is such a sick, twisted allegation. As if Rush couldn't find a doctor willing to write a prescription...Give me a break!

Wait till the media makes the hydrocodone/deafness connection. May the Lord give Rush the strength to weather yet another storm.

10 posted on 10/02/2003 2:22:45 AM PDT by Lib Buster
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To: Blacksheep
Perhaps I am just dumb..What did he say that was such a crime? When we begin to be punished for our opinions on issues and for our right to free speech, we are into a facist situation. We need to understand what political correctness is and what it is doing to our nation. It was a cornerstone of Hitler's reign in Germany and attempts are being made to use it in the US to keep opposing political opinions mute. People of all races need to be able to engage in honest debate on issues. It is the only way to resolve problems and it is the only way to ultimately raise ourselves to a higher level of civility. Also, oppression will not ultimately win out as we see when we read history.
11 posted on 10/02/2003 2:27:46 AM PDT by jazzlite (esat)
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To: jazzlite
I think what he said was pretty dumb, but if he said it, and truly believed it, then he shouldn't have resigned. He should have made an issue that black football stars were involved in this discussion too.

He said that McNabb was overrated, mainly because of his race, because the league has always been looking for a great "black" quarterback.

IMHO, dumb thing to say. It basically dismisses all the black quarterbacks, like Daunte Culpepper, Aaron Brooks, Steve McNair, and other from the past, implies there are no "great" black quarterbacks. The problem is it is all a matter of perception. What one person would consider greatness, another may consider mediocrity.

I like Rush, but he should remember, "Live by the spoken work, die by the spoken word." He makes his living speaking whatever is on his mind on a conservative talk show where conservatives, for the most part, tune in. He was on ESPN and should have watched his words more closely. Just MHO.

12 posted on 10/02/2003 2:42:32 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: kattracks
I believe it....there are days when he sounds funny and slurs words.
13 posted on 10/02/2003 2:43:25 AM PDT by The Raven (<==see my home page!)
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To: kattracks
But, this is the Dems ultimate prize. If you can't beat him, destroy him.
14 posted on 10/02/2003 2:44:21 AM PDT by The Raven (<==see my home page!)
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To: The Raven
Incredible stuff.
15 posted on 10/02/2003 2:54:54 AM PDT by Iowa Granny (Conservative women LIKE men!)
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To: Blacksheep
Well didn't seem to be a problem when a "BLACK" coach claimed weather conditions had an effect on people of different "RACE", helped or hurt their playing ability.

We have a nation of crybabies and double standard. Send a crying towel to ESPN/ABC/perverts and the "football" boys.
16 posted on 10/02/2003 2:57:42 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: sethhenschon
If Rush says it's true then I'll believe it, until then it's a steaming load of lib-dem crappola.
17 posted on 10/02/2003 4:01:45 AM PDT by RJayneJ
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To: kattracks
It seems kind of strange how hard they're going after folks like Rove and Rush all of a sudden.
18 posted on 10/02/2003 4:03:26 AM PDT by Schnucki
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To: kattracks
Extended use of pain killers related to hearing loss?
19 posted on 10/02/2003 4:07:15 AM PDT by Captiva (DVC)
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To: kattracks
Anyone know anything about the Palm Beach Cty state atty?
20 posted on 10/02/2003 4:09:03 AM PDT by mewzilla
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