By Josh Grossberg, E! Online ~ Nov 24, 2003
Witchblade Star Ordered to Rehab
Witchblade might have been canceled, but Yancy Butler still has some demons to battle.
A South Florida judge on Monday ordered the star of TNT's now-defunct supernatural
drama into a substance-abuse treatment program following her arrest Saturday night in
Delray Beach, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Butler, 33, was charged with disorderly intoxication after police found her stumbling in and out of traffic.
According to the police report, numerous witnesses told officers on the scene that they saw Butler wandering on a
major thoroughfare, Linton Boulevard, shortly after 10 p.m., falling to the ground on several occasions and forcing
motorists to swerve to avoid hitting her.
When the cops caught up with the actress, Butler, who allegedly reeked of booze, told them she was an alcoholic
who was on medication and had recently been evicted from a halfway house. She later changed her story and said
she still resided there.
Per Florida state law, officers are permitted to involuntarily commit drug or alcohol users to a substance-abuse
treatment center, so the cops drove Butler to the Drug Abuse Foundation of Palm Beach County. But Butler wasn't
too excited about the clinic and, according to the police report, started arguing and then violently struggling with
officers. As a result, the foundation refused to admit her.
Instead of rehab, Butler was handcuffed and taken to county jail, where she was booked on one count of disorderly
intoxication and held on $500 bail. On Monday, Butler was ordered transferred to another rehab center, the
Renaissance Institute in Boca Raton. She will remain there until her next court date, scheduled for December 18.
Butler's publicist declined to comment on the matter and calls to her attorney went unreturned. This isn't the first
alcohol-related meltdown on Butler's rap sheet.
The New York native, whose film credits include Hard Target and Drop Zone, was taken into custody on January 2
after getting into a nasty spat at her uncle's Long Island home with her show-biz dad, Joe Butler, ex-drummer for
'60s folk rockers the Lovin' Spoonful. She wound up charged with criminal contempt for violating an order of
protection, and two counts of harassment.
After Butler filed documents with the court showing she had finished a monthlong stint in rehab and was attending
additional counseling as an outpatient, a Long Island judge ruled that the charges would be tossed after one year,
as long as Butler stayed out of trouble. No immediate word on how this weekend's arrest will affect that case.
In 2002, Butler's struggles with alcohol abuse forced TNT to halt production on Witchblade for six weeks midway
through filming on the show's second season, so Butler could check herself into rehab. Despite a slight uptick in the
ratings after her return as tough-talking Detective Sara Pezzini, the network decided to axe the series. According to
show insiders, the reason had little to do with ratings and mostly to do with the star's sobriety issues.