Local News

Novelist pleads to drug charges

Posted March 10, 2009 10:26 a.m. EDT
Updated March 11, 2009 11:32 a.m. EDT

— Best-selling author Kaye Gibbons pleaded guilty Tuesday to five misdemeanor charges related to illegal use of prescription drugs.

Stephanie Davis, Wake County assistant district attorney, said Gibbons faked the identity of a doctor to create prescriptions for hydrocodone. Gibbons used the fake prescriptions to obtain 300 pills over three occasions during the summer of 2008, Davis said.

Gibbons, the author of "Ellen Foster" and other novels, admitted her addiction to arresting officers, saying she was "in the process of finishing a book and needed something to take the edge off," Davis said.

Gibbons, 48, lives with her brother in Rocky Mount. She was charged in November with obtaining property by false pretense and illegal possession of a controlled substance – both felony charges.

Her plea was to obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, prescription fraud misdemeanors. Judge Ned Mangum on Tuesday ordered Gibbons to serve 24 months under supervision, pay a $300 fine and commit to drug treatment and random drug tests.

Since her arrest, Gibbons has completed in-patient therapy for her addiction. She is in continuing out-patient therapy and has spoken about her addiction.

Gibbons "looks like a different person" since she started treatment, her attorney, Roger Smith Jr., said. He thanked the court for giving Gibbons the opportunity to get on with her life.

"Kaye has never been in trouble in her life," Smith said. "This is totally out of character for her. She's so glad to have this moment in time behind her and just move on continuing being a mom, and focusing on her work."

Mangum said he expects the arrest served as a "wake-up call" to the author.

"It will help you go forward and be better off as you go forward in life," he said. "We all hope this is an isolated incident."