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Author Kaye Gibbons pleads guilty in drug case

Author Kaye Gibbons pleads guilty in drug case

Novelist Kaye Gibbons, the author of U.S. best seller "Ellen Foster," posed as a doctor so she could fill prescriptions for painkillers, a prosecutor said at her sentencing Tuesday.
Gibbons pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts of obtaining property by fraud. She received a 90-day suspended jail sentence, two years of probation and a $300 fine and was ordered to undergo a drug assessment and random drug testing during probation.
Her addiction and the pressure of finishing her book pushed her to submit fraudulent hydrocodone prescriptions online and try to pick them up at pharmacies in North Carolina, under the name of a Florida physician, said her attorney, Roger Smith Jr.
"She's just glad to have this part behind her, and she's looking forward to moving on," Smith said.
Gibbons, who declined to speak with reporters, sat quietly in court beside her brother, David Batts. She used a black ink pen to edit a version of her latest novel, "The Secret Devotions of Mary Magdalene," which is to be published in the U.S. by Harcourt Brace.
Gibbons, originally facing several felony drug charges, pleaded guilty to the five misdemeanors in an agreement with prosecutors. The charges were consolidated into two counts for sentencing purposes.
The novelist has openly spoken about her life, detailing two divorces, an addiction to prescription painkillers and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. A fictionalized version of her troubled childhood, during which her mother committed suicide, was the setting for "Ellen Foster," her first novel.
Prosecutors said Gibbons submitted a prescription online for hydrocodone. She was stopped Aug. 9 when she tried to pick up the prescription at a Raleigh pharmacy. She told authorities at the time that she had done the same thing on several previous occasions.
She was arrested again Nov. 2 at another pharmacy.
Smith said Gibbons, 48, has received inpatient treatment to control her addiction and continues to meet several times a week with a counselor. She has also been speaking at high schools and college students about the perils of drug abuse.
"She's turning this into a positive," Smith told the judge.


Updated : 2021-03-08 00:05 GMT+08:00