In a sadly predictable story, it seems like for Ted Williams, the Ohio beggar with the golden voice, his Internet super-celebrity proved to be too much, too soon. Now informed speculation has it that the 53-year-old former soul radio DJ will be a temporary Texan, thanks to a three-month stay in a South Padre Island rehab facility courtesy of Dr. Phil.
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While doing his victory lap of interviews in Los Angeles last week, Williams stumbled. Not even 8,994,984 YouTube views could tear him free from the clutches of the demons that put him on that godforsaken freeway off-ramp corner with a cardboard sign in his hand.
A verbal altercation with his adult daughter, with whom he had allegedly been drinking, led to police being called to their glitzy hotel. Though no charges were filed, the two publicly aired their dirty laundry the next day, and Williams admitted his backslide to Dr. Phil. And during their interview, it also became apparent that Williams's claim of having been sober for the previous two years might have been greatly exaggerated. That was when the elephantine Oprah protégé apparently persuaded Williams to check into South Padre's Origins Recovery Center.
After a short trip back to Ohio to visit family, Williams was set to enter rehab. (He may have already done so, but citing medical privacy laws, Origins refused a reporter's request to confirm or deny if Williams was a patient.) While a rehab center smack-dab in the middle of South Padre's party-hearty shenanigans seems incongruous, the center's own literature says its beachfront location is a strength, and that they are very resolute about what they do. "This may be paradise, but it is no vacation -- we're extremely serious about sobriety," says one of the center's program directors.
Late last week, his second chance all but squandered, his new gigs with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kraft Foods slipping away, Williams asked the country for one more chance. "I'm going to get well. All I ask is that you don't forget me, please."