Skip to comments.Limbaugh linked to painkillers.
Posted on 10/03/2003 9:31:18 AM PDT by .cnI redruM
WEST PALM BEACH -- A former housekeeper for Rush Limbaugh claims she supplied the conservative commentator with thousands of doses of painkillers, some of which may have come from a mom-and-pop pill mill busted earlier this year in Lake Worth.
The housekeeper and her husband, residents of The Acreage, told their story to a Miami lawyer, and then to the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office after a promise of immunity from prosecution. Then they sold the tale to The National Enquirer, which splashed the allegations across their front page in Thursday's edition under the headline: "Rush Limbaugh Caught In Drug Ring."
Whether State Attorney Barry Krischer is interested in prosecuting Limbaugh isn't known. But prosecutors rarely pursue drug addicts unless they catch them with drugs. The Enquirer story stopped short of saying Limbaugh was caught red-handed.
Krischer's office would neither confirm nor deny the allegations Thursday. But sources said prosecutors would not be surprised if Limbaugh contacted them.
Limbaugh, 52, wasn't talking, either, but he was communicating with powerhouse criminal defense attorney Roy Black of Miami, who had no comment.
Limbaugh, in a statement posted on his radio show's Web site, said: "I am unaware of any investigation by any authorities involving me. No governmental representative has contacted me directly or indirectly. If my assistance is required in the future, I will, of course, cooperate fully."
Limbaugh wasn't on the air Thursday. Instead he gave the keynote speech at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Philadelphia. He made no mention of the drug allegations, but focused instead on his resignation as an ESPN sports analyst late Wednesday.
He gave up the job three days after saying on the sports network's Sunday NFL Countdown that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.
The sources for the Enquirer's exposé were former housekeeper Wilma Cline, 42, and her husband, David, 41, who claim they were Limbaugh's drug suppliers from 1998 to 2002 and that he paid them tens of thousands of dollars.
They said they sold him 11,900 tablets over six months in 2001. Many exchanges of drugs and money took place at a Denny's restaurant parking lot on Belvedere Road, they alleged.
Trail leads to pharmacy
The Enquirer story said the couple got nervous and contacted Edward Shohat, a noted Miami criminal defense lawyer. Late last year, Shohat escorted them to Palm Beach County prosecutor James Martz.
Given immunity, the Clines became part of a drug probe that led to the arrest of Louis and Gloria Beshara last May. Authorities believe that the Clines' illegal supply of painkillers came from the Besharas.
Investigators tracked 450,000 doses of the powerful narcotic painkiller hydrocodone that were dispensed at the Besharas' small pharmacy, World Health Association, in suburban Lake Worth. The Besharas were charged with trafficking and conspiracy to traffic in hydrocodone, a painkiller similar to morphine.
During a six-month undercover operation, law enforcement agents from the multi-agency task force also seized 73,000 narcotic tablets from the Besharas' home in Loxahatchee and from the pharmacy, and unearthed $806,000 in cash.
Louis Beshara's attorney, James Eisenberg, told The Post he knew of no connection between the Clines and the Besharas.
"Those names (the Clines) have never come up. Never," Eisenberg said. "There is nothing in the case about Limbaugh, about the Clines, about anything like that. There is no connection as far as I can tell."
Court documents show as many as four confidential informants were involved in the Beshara case, but Eisenberg said he didn't believe they included Wilma or David Cline.
The Enquirer said the Clines backed up their claim of being Limbaugh's drug suppliers by providing e-mails that Limbaugh allegedly sent them with such messages as, "You know how this stuff works... the more you get used to, the more it takes."
The messages also mention "small blue babies," an apparent reference to the painkillers.
According to Wilma Cline's story, Limbaugh's descent into drug addiction happened after she told him that her husband was hurt in a fall from a ladder and that he was taking some hydrocodone.
"To my astonishment, he said, 'Can you spare a couple of them?' " she told the Enquirer.
She said David Cline was impressed by who Limbaugh was and gave him 10 pills from his prescription.
The next day in the laundry room of Limbaugh's $24 million mansion, he asked his $370-a-week housekeeper for more pills, Wilma Cline told the tabloid. Soon, she said, the couple was supplying Limbaugh with 80 pills a month.
When her husband's doctor stopped prescribing him painkillers, she said, Limbaugh got upset and yelled at her, "I don't care how or what you do but you'd better -- better! -- get me some more."
With the help of an unnamed houseman, she said, she continued to supply Limbaugh illegally, hiding the pills under his mattress so his wife wouldn't find them. Several months later, Limbaugh told her he would be undergoing drug rehabilitation and wouldn't need the drugs.
But one month later, Limbaugh called and asked if he could get an even more powerful painkiller: OxyContin, Wilma Cline told the Enquirer.
She started to keep a log of her purchases, she said, and within the first 47 days she delivered 4,350 pills to Limbaugh.
She said Limbaugh became increasingly paranoid, one time groping her to see whether she was wearing a wire for the authorities.
He tried to kick his habit again at a New York hospital to no avail, she said, and piled up drug bills of $80,000.
In 2002, Wilma Cline said, a Palm Beach attorney showed up on her doorstep, gave her a check for $100,000 and made her sign a promissory note, but said the "loan" would never be collected. Four months later, in November, the attorney gave her a check for $100,000 and told her not to give Limbaugh any more pills.
The attorney also told her to hand over the computer retaining Limbaugh's e-mails, Wilma Cline said, but she took the hard drive from another computer and smashed it in front of him. Then the Clines sought legal help.
Enquirer Editor-in-Chief David Perel declined to say whether the Clines were paid for their story, but said the tabloid does pay for interviews. The Clines could not be reached Thursday.
David Cline was arrested for cocaine trafficking in 1982 in Collier County. He posted bond to get out of jail and then skipped, living as a fugitive in New York and Fort Lauderdale under different names until surrendering in 1989. He was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison.
In April 2000, while he and his wife were allegedly supplying Limbaugh with drugs, Cline was arrested in Palm Beach County and charged with identity theft, having a counterfeit or stolen driver license and a false vehicle registration, possessing marijuana and resisting arrest. He wound up with a combined sentence of time served, 18 months probation, community service and court costs.
The injury that put a hydrocodone prescription into David Cline's hands happened in March 1998, while he was doing odd jobs at the Palm Beach home of Patricia Bradshaw.
A pull-down attic ladder broke, sending him crashing to the floor. The Clines sued Bradshaw for $75,000, but Circuit Judge Jorge Labarga ruled against them in January 2001.
Under questioning by Bradshaw's lawyer, Cline said he had made $40,000 to $50,000 a year and that he had not filed any income tax returns for the preceding five years. He also said he had used an alias to avoid paying child support for two children from a previous marriage.
The Clines live at the end of a dirt road, where some of the 2-acre lots are fenced, with locked gates and "No Trespassing" and "Beware of Dog" signs.
Their house is a 10-minute drive from where Louis and Gloria Beshara live in the Fox Trails community near Lion Country Safari. Their Besharas' house is surrounded by a high stone wall.
Crews from CNN and the NBC network joined local reporters in a stakeout on the road in front of the Clines' yard Thursday. Scott and Cathy Pauldino, who live across the street, said the Clines had always been helpful and neighborly in their five years as neighbors.
"They're good people," Cathy Pauldino said.
Limbaugh called good boss
Wilma Cline had told them Limbaugh was a good person to work for, but revealed no details about the commentator's personal life.
Limbaugh's friends also defended him.
Advertising executive Dina Sontag, who worked with Limbaugh from 1993 to 1996, said she never saw Limbaugh take any drugs.
"As far as I know, it's all ludicrous," she said.
Limbaugh's fill-in host on Thursday, Sacramento broadcaster Tom Sullivan, alluded briefly to the fact that "Rush is in the headlines today."
"Nobody better to talk about Rush than Rush," Sullivan said at the beginning of the three-hour broadcast. "And when he gets back, he will, I'm sure, delve into all of the news about him as he always does."
SO this is the person accusing Rush of pill popping.
>>>>>>>>>>>>In April 2000, while he and his wife were allegedly supplying Limbaugh with drugs, Cline was arrested in Palm Beach County and charged with identity theft, having a counterfeit or stolen driver license and a false vehicle registration, possessing marijuana and resisting arrest.
Where does the Enquirer find these people?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>Cline said he had made $40,000 to $50,000 a year and that he had not filed any income tax returns for the preceding five years. He also said he had used an alias to avoid paying child support for two children from a previous marriage.
All-in-all a total class act.
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It is in the breaking news sidebar!
I was taking hydrocodone for my shoulder, and they aint blue!!
Informants are used all the time, most are criminals and many are even paid for their efforts. Never heard a conservative complain about using them to bust other users before.
I really wish someone would pull out whatever evidence against clinton was hidden away in the Ford building, so the left could 'have a bad week'.
Rush should be dead if he ingested that many pills in 47 days.
What? That is about 66 pills a day if Rush was using. Or, 33 a day if he and his wife were using. I believe they would not have survived that.
So, now the Rush haters will say he was selling??
I do not blame Rush for staying quiet (per his lawyers instruction no doubt). Something is not right with this scenario.
Let the news percolate for a few more days or weeks. Give the Rush hatersmore rope. Then hang um!!
Would it not be sweet if it is found these terrible excuses for humans were put up to this by the DNC (McAwful)??
You're right, Race! AND.....THEY AIN'T SMALL!
Unless the story is false I don't see what difference it makes who was behind the probe. Are only republicans allowed to investigate republicans?