‘Insider’s’ O’Brien Enters Alcohol Rehab

Mar 21, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Pat O’Brien, host of Paramount Domestic Television’s syndicated newsmagazine strip “The Insider,” announced Sunday that he was entering a facility to treat his alcoholism.

“I have had a problem with alcohol,” Mr. O’Brien said in a written statement to The Associated Press. “I have decided to take action by checking myself into an intensive recovery program. Overcoming this problem is a top priority in my life and I am excited to return to work as soon as I am able. I am overwhelmed by all the love and support from my family, friends and colleagues in the industry.”

Mr. O’Brien, who hosts the “Entertainment Tonight” spinoff from Los Angeles, joined “Insider” after leaving NBC Universal’s “Access Hollywood” in August. Mr. O’Brien also covered the 2004 Summer Olympics for NBC Sports.

“We support Pat’s decision to seek treatment and look forward to welcoming him back on the air at the appropriate time,” said Manfred Westphal, a Paramount spokesman.

Mr. Westphal said “Insider’s” New York anchor, Lara Spencer, will host the show in Mr. O’Brien’s absence. No timetable was given for his return. “The Insider” is the top-rated rookie strip of the 2004-05 season.