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Archive for Thursday, December 6, 2001

Comedian Paula Poundstone released from rehab center

December 6, 2001

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— A judge praised Paula Poundstone's recovery progress Wednesday and released the comedian from a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center where she was sentenced after pleading no contest to child endangerment.

"You have remained abstinent and have done all the other tasks I asked you to do," Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Bernard Kamins told Poundstone during a hearing. "Today is really a day for commendation rather than to bite you."

The judge also sentenced Poundstone to a day in jail for violating probation but credited it as time served. The comedian actually spent a half-day in jail last month for taking an unspecified medication that wasn't part of her rehab program.

The alleged actions that led to charges against Poundstone, 41, have not been released by prosecutors. Her attorney has said that in one instance witnesses believed she appeared intoxicated while driving with children.

Poundstone, who has blamed her problems on drinking, was asked by Kamins how she felt about her treatment.

"Fine," she said softly.

Poundstone will receive counseling one or two days a week and a psychiatrist will monitor her medication. She will also be allowed to go out on the road for performances for up to three days.

For longer periods, the comedian would need the judge's permission. Kamins expressed concern about "temptations" Poundstone may face on the road.

He told her attorney and the prosecutor to come up with a monitoring plan. He also scheduled a progress report for Feb. 20.

Prosecutor Gina Satriano said outside court she hoped monitoring would help.

"The more assistance that Ms. Poundstone has, gives her the better chance to succeed," Satriano said.

Defense attorney Steven Cron said Poundstone was happy to go home.

"She spent a long time in a rehab center that is normally designed for shorter periods of stay. She's ready to go," he said.

Cron said that Poundstone's three adopted children will have monitored visits but they will not be allowed to stay with her for the time being. He said that family court will decide the children's future.

Poundstone, who also had two foster children until her June 27 arrest in Malibu, pleaded no-contest Sept. 12 to felony child endangerment and misdemeanor inflicting injury on a child. She was sentenced in October to 180 days at the Promises center, including 125 days she had already voluntarily spent there, and five years of probation.

Criminal counts alleging lewd conduct with a child were dropped.

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