RIHANNA is in a desperate life-or-death battle with liver damage caused by years of boozing and out-of-control partying, sources tell The ENQUIRER exclusively.
The Grammy winner, 24, was hospitalized after an early May bender, and her reckless behavior, coupled with her grueling work schedule, has friends and experts warning that she’s on a fast track to becoming the next Whitney Houston.
“Rihanna is spiraling out of control and is headed for an early grave,” said one concerned insider. “It never seems to be one beer or one cocktail. Once she gets started, Rihanna pounds drinks all night long, sometimes until the sun comes up. She definitely goes on binges.
“She’s been a hard drinker since her teens and her friends and family are desperately urging her to get into rehab.”
Medical experts say the sexy singer’s drinking habits could be deadly. “Rihanna could be dead tomorrow from liver failure,” Orlando-based, board-certified physician Dr. Gabe Mirkin told The ENQUIRER.
Although he has not treated the hard-drinking entertainer, Dr. Mirkin noted: “Anybody who drinks alcohol for more than two hours a day, even if it is binge drinking once a week, is looking at premature death.
“Once the liver is permanently damaged, it’s over.”
Dr. Robert Waldman, consultant to the Cliffside Malibu treatment center and a 25-year veteran of addiction medicine, agreed that Rihanna is a disaster waiting to happen. “The earlier you start to drink, the more the body becomes dependent on alcohol,” he told The ENQUIRER.
“It can cause deadly cirrhosis of the liver and alcohol poisoning – even at her age.”
Rihanna’s world came crashing down earlier this month. She missed a “Saturday Night Live” final dress rehearsal and needed a shot of penicillin to make it through her May 5 performance.
And on May 8, she tweeted a picture of her arm hooked up to an intravenous drip, claiming she was suffering from a nasty bout of the flu, a day after attending the Costume Institute Gala in New York. She was reportedly hospitalized for exhaustion and dehydration.
Ratcheting up her stress, she’s coming off a grueling tour last year, and she’s been flying all over the world to promote her film “Battleship.” Rihanna recovered from her frightening hospitalization to make it to the May 10 L.A. premiere, but then she alarmed onlookers by skipping dinner, opting to chew gum and drink a lime cocktail instead.
Two days later, she was seen partying until 4 a.m. in a New York nightclub.
Sadly, the entertainer, whose father is a former crack addict, appears to be continuing her nonstop pace – blazing a round-the-world party trail since she started the year knocking back beers and smoking pot during a Hawaiian vacation.
“I think Rihanna is destroying her liver,” warned the insider. “She’ll wind up dead like Whitney Houston if she doesn’t get help fast!”