HASSELHOFF FLEES REHAB

Published on: July 2, 2004

"Baywatch" star David Hasselhoff has bolted from booze rehab after just one week, The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively.

And pals are worried that it could be a fatal mistake because the last time he left rehab early, he fell off the wagon and nearly died from alcohol poisoning!

"Family and friends have their fingers crossed that he can stay sober this time," said a source close to the actor.

Hasselhoff entered the exclusive Cirque Lodge in Utah for what was supposed to be a three-month stint following a drunk driving arrest June 5.

But after a week at the rehab facility, where Olsen twin Mary-Kate was also receiving treatment, he got an offer to star in a London production of the musical, "Chicago" and decided to check out.

HE FEELS CONFIDENT

Even though Hasselhoff left rehab early, he vowed to continue his battle against the bottle on his own, sources tell The ENQUIRER.

"He's determined to maintain complete abstinence and religiously attend AA meetings," said the source.

"After remaining alcohol-free for two weeks, he feels confident he can go it alone."

Hasselhoff, who is due to play the Richard Gere role of Billy Flynn beginning July 12, thought he could go it alone once before -- and it almost killed him.

In 2002, The ENQUIRER revealed that paramedics had to be called to the Desert Springs Marriot Resort & Spa to revive the actor after he fled the Betty Ford Center in California and drank himself unconscious. Hasselhoff was hospitalized for acute alcohol poisoning before returning to rehab.

His friends hope that doesn't happen again.

"Everyone is rooting for him to make it," said an insider. -- PATRICIA TOWLE