Elizabeth Vargas Enters Rehab: ABC New Anchor Admits Alcohol Addiction

Nov 07, 2013 02:58 PM EST | By Dina Exil

Elizabeth Vargas is getting help and speaking about her addiction.

The "20/20" anchor confirmed Wednesday that she checked into rehab for alcoholism a few weeks ago.

"Like so many people, I am dealing with addiction," the 51-year-old newswoman said in a statement according to E! News. "I realized I was becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol." 

Vargas said she's grateful to her family, friends and her colleagues at ABC News for their support. Vargas has two children. 

"Like so many others, I will deal with this challenge a day at a time," she said. "If coming forward today gives one other person the courage to seek help, I'm grateful."

Vargas has worked in network news since 1993, first with NBC and then ABC. Besides her news magazine work, she was named co-anchor of "World News Tonight" with Bob Woodruff following the death of Peter Jennings, but that pairing was cut short when Woodruff was seriously injured in an explosion while reporting in Iraq.

Vargas returned to "20/20" in 2006 and has been co-anchoring ever since, most recently with David Muir. Vargas also frequently filled in for "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts when the anchor was on medical leave for a bone marrow transplant.

The network had been planning a way for Vargas to publicly address her issues and was exploring the possibility of giving People magazine an exclusive interview and photo shoot for a future issue, according to the New York Daily News.

The former "World News Tonight" anchor, who is married to singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, reportedly became extremely upset in the wake of the Newtown school shooting in Connecticut in December 2012. 

"We are proud of the steps Elizabeth has taken and are pulling for her recovery," ABC spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said. "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."

The talented anchor has interviewed big names including Ellen DeGeneres, Monica Seles, Johnny Depp, Mick Jagger and Drew Barrymore, and has hosted many ABC News specials. 

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