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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Limbaugh Under Investigation for Illegal Drug Possession, Use

Aired October 2, 2003 - 10:27   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We now have some breaking news to bring to you right now. It looks like Rush Limbaugh's having a very, very bad week. He goes from having a problem with this controversy over comments he made about Donovan McNabb on Sunday to now perhaps being the target of a probe about -- that is focusing on trying to find the source of those getting and buying illegal drugs.
Let's go now to our Susan Candiotti who has the latest on this story. As a matter of fact, before I go on, I want to clarify, we're not talking about illegal drugs, we're talking about illegal prescriptions correct?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Illegal prescription drugs, that's correct. And first off, Leon, we want to say that Mr. Rush Limbaugh is not being identified as a focus of the investigation. However, Rush Limbaugh has turned up as a buyer and regular user of some powerful prescription painkillers being sold illegally in Palm Beach County, Florida where Limbaugh a home.

Now, sources close to the investigation stress Limbaugh is not a target of the investigation but one of the many people who have illegally been buying drugs as part of this investigation which has been going on for at least a couple of years. According to sources, quote, "We are going after the sellers and the suppliers." This is part of an ongoing investigation. Been going on for couple of years via task force. And it's a sale drugs including hydrocodone and OxyContin.

Sources say one of the busts in Palm Beach County happened last May and resulted in the arrest of a couple of pharmacists who are arrested, drugs seized and including cash of up to a million dollars.

Now, the sources describe Limbaugh as an addict who is taking up to 100 pills a day of these two that I mentioned. The sources also confirm a story published by "The National Enquirer" originally which identifies a former housekeeper of Limbaugh, Wilma Klein (ph), who went to authorities.

Sources confirm this information, that she in fact recorded conversations with Limbaugh -- I confirmed with a source that they do have these tapes and that they do contain his voice -- that he wanted her to buy drugs for him. This goes back to 1998.

Apparently, this woman had a prescription for these drugs for her husband and Limbaugh initially asked to borrow some of those drugs. Sources say that she sold her story to "The Enquirer" for a six figure fee. Now I spoke with this woman's lawyer, Ed Shohad (ph) of Miami. He says that she stands by her story. And I also spoke with a man who answered a phone at her residence, who echoed that comment, "We stand by her story" -- Leon.

HARRIS: All right, Susan. So as it stands now, those who were conducting this investigation are not looking at -- into trying to arrest those who have been buying these drugs at all. And do you know if there's been any statement issued at all by Rush Limbaugh?

CANDIOTTI: We have been trying to reach out to his lawyers. He is making a speech in Philadelphia this day. Have not yet been able to reach them for a comment.

And there is a question as to whether any arrests will be made of any of the buyers of these drugs. That's still up in the air. But clearly, they are not the ones being targeted. The suppliers and the sellers are.

HARRIS: Thank you very much. Susan Candiotti bringing us that breaking story this morning. Thank you very much, Susan, we'll get back to you later on.

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