Pondering A High-Proof Defense

Deaver may say alcoholism caused him to mislead a grand jury

Michael Deaver's history of drug and alcohol use was short but dramatic: rushed to the hospital with kidney failure the day before Ronald Reagan's second Inaugural celebration in January 1985; hospitalized for alcohol detoxification the following June, just after he resigned as White House deputy chief of staff to become a high-priced lobbyist; sent to an alcohol treatment center in Maryland for a one-month stint in October 1986, after which he became active in Alcoholics Anonymous.

In his forthcoming memoirs, Behind the Scenes (Morrow; $17.95), to be excerpted in next month's issue of LIFE magazine, Deaver, 49, says he was secretly...

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