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Limbaugh linked to painkillers.
Palm Beach Post ^ | Friday, October 3, 2003 | By John Pacenti and Mary McLachlin

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."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: classless; mediafrenzy; michaeldobbs; rush; smearjob; wodlist
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>>>>>>>>>>>>>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.

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.

1 posted on 10/03/2003 9:31:19 AM PDT by .cnI redruM
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2 posted on 10/03/2003 9:33:03 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: .cnI redruM
There were two possible motives, 1, Rush's house keeper was attempting to blackmail him and was unsuccessful or 2, (more likely) this couple is in trouble with the law and copped a deal to help the police bust Rush Limbaugh (why else would she wear a wire in conversations with Rush?) in exchange for a reduction in or dropping of charges. She then decided that she could make a quick buck with the Enquirer.
3 posted on 10/03/2003 9:38:33 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldnít be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: .cnI redruM
Were they also given immunity for tax evasion? I presume he could not get immunity for avoiding child support payments. Not exactly credible witnesses.
4 posted on 10/03/2003 9:39:55 AM PDT by Dante3
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To: .cnI redruM
So THAT's what he meant by 'with half of my brain tied behind my back' to be fair.....
5 posted on 10/03/2003 9:40:01 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (Beltway's "Attack Iraq At All Costs" Faction Ignored N. KOREA. To your and my possible peril)
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To: .cnI redruM
When did the so-called legitimate press start printing verbatim quotes from a supermarket tabloid? Four years ago the name Juanita Brodderick could not be printed in a newspaper or uttered on TV. Now, one day after the NE publishes material on a conservative talk show host, much of which sounds exagerated and laughably dramatized, a newspaper prints all the gory detail.

You can be certain that if any of the "papers of record" had the least reticence of going with the story before the Palm Beach Post's report, this will relieve their sorry little conciences. Once the story breaks it becomes fair game for the pack, at least when it's a conservative's ox that is being gored.

This story is sad from a multitude of perspectives.
6 posted on 10/03/2003 9:45:50 AM PDT by irish_links
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To: .cnI redruM
Didn't this occur during the period of time he lost his hearing rather suddenly because of the quick onset of a genetic disease?
7 posted on 10/03/2003 9:46:09 AM PDT by lilylangtree
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To: .cnI redruM; nutmeg; harpseal; Dutchy; firebrand; Doctor Raoul; Angelwood; monafelice; AnnaZ; ...
The messages also mention "small blue babies," an apparent reference to the painkillers

I was taking hydrocodone for my shoulder, and they aint blue!!

8 posted on 10/03/2003 9:46:35 AM PDT by RaceBannon (It is perfectly fine to kill people when you are defending yourself)
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Support Free Republic
I'm confused a bit. The Enquirer initially reported that Limbaugh and Cline met at an Amoco gas station. Here it says a Denny's parking lot. There was a picture of Cline with a cigar box that was supposed to have been used in exchanging the pills and money, yet, in both the Enquirer and this article, Cline is said to have stuffed the pills under his mattress at the house. So which was it...the Amoco gas station, the Denny's parking lot or the mattress? I also heard someone on the radio yesterday reading from the Enquirer, which stated that Cline's husband had a prescription for the pain killer and was getting 60 pills a month. So how were they able to supply Rush with 80 pills a month initially as stated in this article? Too many discrepancies for me folks, not to mention the fact that the allegations are coming from known crooks.
10 posted on 10/03/2003 9:47:52 AM PDT by mass55th
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To: .cnI redruM
A lot of this is probably true. I pray that Rush can get over the horrible addiction of drugs. Drug addiction does not discriminate. It is a horrible thing.
11 posted on 10/03/2003 9:48:00 AM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace ((the original))
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To: Blood of Tyrants
this couple is in trouble with the law and copped a deal to help the police bust Rush Limbaugh

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.

12 posted on 10/03/2003 9:48:05 AM PDT by steve50 (The only good drug addicts are rich drug addicts)
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To: RaceBannon
Uhm, he could have been referring to a different pain killer.
13 posted on 10/03/2003 9:48:40 AM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace ((the original))
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To: .cnI redruM
"Palm Beach Linked to Stupidity"...sigh

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'.

14 posted on 10/03/2003 9:49:18 AM PDT by monkeywrench
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To: .cnI redruM
She started to keep a log of her purchases, she said, and within the first 47 days she delivered 4,350 pills to Limbaugh.

Rush should be dead if he ingested that many pills in 47 days.

5.56mm

15 posted on 10/03/2003 9:53:42 AM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: .cnI redruM
They said they sold him 11,900 tablets over six months in 2001.

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)??

16 posted on 10/03/2003 9:54:26 AM PDT by technomage
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To: RaceBannon
I was taking hydrocodone for my shoulder, and they aint blue!!

You're right, Race! AND.....THEY AIN'T SMALL!

17 posted on 10/03/2003 9:57:30 AM PDT by EggsAckley (..........................all my pings are belong to ......YOU.....................)
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To: technomage
Just a few little lies. No harm done. Let's move on.
18 posted on 10/03/2003 9:57:32 AM PDT by AMNZ
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To: technomage
Would it not be sweet if it is found these terrible excuses for humans were put up to this by the DNC (McAwful)??

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?

19 posted on 10/03/2003 9:58:18 AM PDT by steve50 (The only good drug addicts are rich drug addicts)
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To: .cnI redruM
"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. "

So Ms. Cline photocopied the checks and gave them to the

Enquirer as part of her story,where they can be seen,

right? Show me the $$
20 posted on 10/03/2003 9:58:49 AM PDT by COUNTrecount
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