Former ABC World News Tonight and now “20/20” co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas has been MIA on the air for weeks, and NY Daily News says she is in rehab center for alcohol abuse.
“She’s checked herself into a facility, and she’s getting treatment,” one insider close to Vargas, 51, tells the Daily News. “She’s been there for a few weeks and will be there for another few weeks.”
Vargas, who will be returning to her anchor perch behind the news desk when she is released and feeling better, confirmed she is in a treatment center and relayed the following:
“Like so many people, I am dealing with addiction. I realized I was becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol. And feel fortunate to have recognized it for the problem it was becoming. I am in treatment and am so thankful for the love and support of my family, friends and colleagues at ABC News. Like so many others, I will deal with this challenge one day at a time. If coming forward today gives one other person the courage to seek help, I’m grateful.”
When the senior staff at the Disney-owned network had begun whispering about her whereabouts, they were officially told that she was on “medical leave,” but many suspected she had been getting help for an alcohol problem and would be returning soon.
“We are proud of the steps Elizabeth has taken and are pulling for her recovery,” an ABC spokesman says. “We look forward to having her back home at ABC News, where she has done so much distinguished work over the years. Elizabeth is a member of our family, and we will support her in every way we can.”