KEYT anchorwoman Paula Lopez issued a statement Wednesday afternoon acknowledging that her July 29 arrest — and an unusual disappearance earlier this year — were related to her ongoing battle against alcoholism.
As Noozhawk reported Tuesday, Lopez, 48, was arrested on a public-intoxication charge Monday afternoon near her foothills home west of Santa Barbara, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.
She was taken into custody, and later released with a citation to appear in court, officials said, adding that the case will be forwarded to the District Attorney's Office for review.
On Feb. 27, Lopez was reported missing by family members, but was safely reunited with them later that day after an intense search.
Lopez issued the following statement Wednesday:
"I have been in professional medical treatment for the disease of alcoholism for a number of months. I have dealt with anxiety and depression for many years. Excessive self-medication is a fairly recent phenomenon for me. It has increased over time.
"I have had substantial periods of abstinence and sobriety. As can occur in the recovery process, I have also had failures and relapses.
"I know that most people have a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or know of someone who has been impacted by substance abuse. They understand the scourge and pain that befalls those close to the diseased individual.
"Much was written about my prior medical circumstances. All that was released to the media regarding my medical circumstances was true. But it was not complete. That is no longer the case.
"From your expressions, I know that vast multitudes of you understand my plight and sympathize with my circumstances.
"Others of you cannot, and never will. I am extremely humbled and grateful for those who do.
"I ask the forgiveness of those who cannot."