David Hasselhoff is battling alcohol abuse.

In a brief release Monday, his spokeswoman confirms TV's favorite lifeguard has entered rehab.

"David Hasselhoff has checked himself into the Betty Ford Center. He realized his social drinking had increased more than he was comfortable with, and he decided to do something about it," publicist Judy Katz says in the statement.

Katz did not address last week's National Enquirer that claimed the former Baywatch star, who turns 50 on July 17, had nearly died from alcohol poisoning during a binge last month.

According to the supermarket tabloid, Hasselhoff had entered the Betty Ford Center, located outside Palm Springs, California, in late June only to check himself out two days later. At about 10:30 p.m. on June 25, he turned up--with no luggage--at the Desert Springs Marriott Resort and Spa in nearby Palm Desert and got himself a room, according to the paper.

The following day, hotel staffers reportedly found him unconscious in his room next to an empty minibar. Paramedics were able to revive the actor, according to the Enquirer, and rushed him to emergency room at Eisenhower Medical Center, where he was treated for alcohol poisoning and then returned to the Betty Ford Center. His wife, Pam, was said to have flown out from Los Angeles to be by his side.

"Thank God they got to my son when they did. If they hadn't, he would have died!" the paper quotes Hasselhoff's father Joe as saying.

After shooting to fame opposite a talking Trans Am in NBC's Knight Rider, Hasselhoff became a worldwide sensation as Baywatch's head lifeguard, Mitch Buchannon. He left Baywatch at the end of the 1999-2000 season to launch a new syndicated series, Double Cross. But just months after Hasselhoff was blown to bits on his Baywatch finale, the financing fell through on Double Cross and that show was scrapped.

Since then he appeared in the Broadway musical Jekyll & Hyde, in addition to starring in a handful of TV and direct-to-video projects. Most recently, he has been trying with little success to drum up interest in a Knight Rider movie and a Baywatch reunion.

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