Winona's probation report details drug history
Winona Ryder may not have been convicted on the charge of possessing a controlled substance, but thanks to the court, much of her drug history has come to light. Over the objections of Winona Ryder’s lawyer, the Los Angeles Superior Court has released the probation officer’s report detailing not only the drugs she had in her purse at the time of her arrest, but her prescription history going back several years.
Two days before Ryder was sentenced to probation and mandatory drug counseling on Friday, prosecutor Ann Rundle noted in her sentencing recommendation memo that Ryder had eight different prescription painkillers on her at the time of her shoplifting arrest. In the probation report, which was prepared last March after police interviews with Ryder and examination of her medical records, investigators found that the 31-year-old actress had received prescription painkillers from 20 different doctors in the last six years, some under her alias Emily Thompson. The report, available at The Smoking Gun, says Ryder first began taking prescription tranqulizers at 19, when she was prescribed Klonopin ”to help her sleep” after a romantic breakup. She was prescribed more drugs after a 2001 film set accident in which she fractured her arm, she said. Four days before her arrest, she said, she reinjured her arm skateboarding.
One cop, Beverly Hills police officer George Elwell, recommended in the report that she get ”intervention” for her drug use. ”We don’t want to find her slumped over in a car with a needle in her arm,” he said. The report also contains testimony, which it describes as ”hearsay,” from a tipster who claimed Ryder ”has had a heroin problem for the last decade,” and another who claimed that Ryder and ”a famous female rock star” tried on some clothes at a fashion show that were later noted as missing.
On Monday, one of Ryder’s doctors, Jules Lusman, was stripped of his license by the California Medical Board on charges of overmedicating his patients, including a number of celebrities. Ryder is referred to in the Board’s report as ”E.T.” (Emily Thompson), a 29-year-old ”well-known” entertainer” to whom the Santa Monica doctor prescribed at least five painkillers in late 2001. Another patient, a ”fairly well-known musician” identified as ”Ms. C.L.” (apparently Courtney Love, since the report also identifies her as ”Ms. C. L-C,” widow of a ”Mr. C.”), was prescribed several drugs over a five-month period, including Ambien, Xanax, and injectable Demerol. In both cases, Lusman prescribed the drugs ”without a good faith exam, an extreme departure from the standard of care,” according to the report, also avaliable at The Smoking Gun.
”I certainly did not believe at the time I attended to her professionally that she was in an abusive situation,” Lusman said of Ryder, speaking yesterday to TV’s ”Inside Edition” from his mother’s home in South Africa. ”I would never, ever prescribe a person multiple medications simultaneously.”