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BONO REGRETS DRUG COMMENTS

Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., says she regrets her recent bluntness when she said the ski accident that killed her husband, Sonny, was partly due to the drugs he took.

Yes, she told the Associated Press on Friday, her husband did have a prescription drug problem. "A reporter asked me a direct question and I answered it," Rep. Bono said. "In hindsight, I wish I hadn't said anything."

TV Guide's Nov. 28 issue quotes Rep. Bono saying painkillers contributed to her husband's death in January, when he skied into a tree. "What he did showed absolute lack of judgment," she told the magazine. "That's what these pills do."

Now her telephone never stops ringing, she said during a phone interview from her parents' home in North Carolina.

"If you ask anybody who knows me, I am honest to a fault," said Rep. Bono, who was elected to Congress in April to fill her husband's seat and re-elected in November to a full term.

Bono spokesman Frank Cullen said, "She wasn't going to bring this forward. But when she was asked directly about it, she wasn't going to lie about it."

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