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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 February 2007, 18:03 GMT
Williams enters rehab on birthday
Robbie Williams
Williams has enjoyed a hugely successful solo career to date
Pop singer Robbie Williams has been admitted into a rehab clinic in the US on his 33rd birthday, to be treated for a dependency on prescription drugs.

It is not the first time the British star has entered rehab, having become addicted to drugs and alcohol after he left Take That in 1995.

He said later that his condition was so bad that Sir Elton John "kidnapped" him and made him seek treatment.

In September, his Asian tour was called off because of stress and exhaustion.

The Los Angeles-based performer was to have visited Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Mumbai (Bombay) and Bangalore in November.

A spokesman said at the time that to have performed in those cities after honouring European and South American commitments would have been "asking too much".

'Personal issues'

Speaking to BBC Radio Stoke - based in Williams' home town - his mother, Jan, said it was a "gift" for her that he was seeking treatment.

"He's a very public figure and all the media attention at the moment is added pressure on him," she said.

Robbie Williams
I shall be sending him loads and loads of love as always - I have always given him a lot of loving support
Jan Williams, Robbie's mother
Mrs Williams plans to fly out to the US after her son has finished his spell in rehab.

"I shall be going across at some stage but when you're in rehab, it's a programme for the person themselves, and they have to address their own personal issues," she added.

Last year, the singer spoke frankly of his experience with depression in a BBC documentary on bipolar disorder with Stephen Fry.

In the interview, he admitted taking antidepressants and that his depression had made him "stop going out".

"I'd get up in front of 40,000 people and say 'look at me, I'm ace'", he said.

"Then as soon as I got off stage, I'd get in the tour coach and go back to my bedroom and pull the duvet over my eyes."

In another TV interview, broadcast in 2004, Williams said he only gave up drugs and alcohol because they made him too fat.

He said his addiction made him "blow up to the size of a small aircraft hangar".

Williams' former Take That bandmates are currently enjoying a hugely successful comeback, including a number one single and album, and a sell-out UK tour.

Their song Patience is expected to win best single at the Brit Awards ceremony, which takes place in London on Wednesday.

But this is the first time in several years that Williams has failed to be in the running for the best male or best album categories.

Robbie's mother speaks of the pressure the star faces

Profile: Robbie Williams
13 Feb 07 |  Entertainment
Robbie Williams tops album chart
29 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
Robbie cancels Asian tour dates
15 Sep 06 |  Entertainment

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