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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 April, 2005, 08:34 GMT 09:34 UK
Billy Joel leaves US rehab clinic
Billy Joel
The singer is currently writing two children's books
Singer Billy Joel has left a Californian rehabilitation clinic where he was being treated for alcohol abuse.

His publicist confirmed that the 55-year-old had now checked out of the Betty Ford clinic, in Rancho Mirage, where he had spent 30 days.

Joel has returned to his Long Island home with his wife Kate Lee, who he married in October 2004.

He previously sought treatment during a 10-day stay at a substance abuse and psychiatric hospital in 2002.

He later admitted he had been drinking to excess.

Discreet treatment

Months later he was again admitted to hospital after crashing his car into a tree - his third accident in three years - but emerged relatively unscathed.

Joel entered the Betty Ford clinic in March after what his publicist described as "a recent bout of severe gastrointestinal distress".

The clinic is a world-famous rehabilitation centre, with a reputation for discreetly treating celebrities.

Joel has put his pop career on hold in recent years, concentrating on writing classical scores.

He is also writing two children's books which are due to be published in the autumn.

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