Eagles Trial Unearths Evidence Directly Contradicting Details From 1980 Teen Overdose at Don Henley’s Home

A development in the trial involving alleged stolen Eagles documents and songwriting material has uncovered new details about a 1980 overdose at Don Henley‘s home. Henley was arrested that year following the overdose of a teen at a going-away party for the band. Henley has maintained for years that he took the fall to protect the rest of the band and crew.

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His statement at the time, as he told GQ in 1991, was that “There were roadies and guys in my house – we were having a farewell to the Eagles.” He continued, “I got all of them out of the house; I took complete blame for everything. I was stupid, I could have flushed ev­erything down the toilet, [but] I didn’t want this girl dying in my house, I wanted to get her medical at­tention. I did what I thought was best, and I paid the price.”

Now, however, a letter written by Henley in 1981 tells a different story of that night. Henley wrote the letter to a Santa Monica probation officer and it has now been entered into evidence for the unrelated theft trial, according to a report from Ultimate Classic Rock.

According to Henley’s letter, there was no party that night in 1980. Instead, Henley called an escort service, which sent the 16-year-old prostitute to his house. “I was very depressed because things in my life were going wrong one after another … Mainly, I was despondent about waking up every morning not knowing if my group, the Eagles, had broken up or not,” Henley wrote at the time.

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Don Henley’s 1981 Letter to Probation Officer Directly Contradicts His Years-Long Statement About 16-Year-Old Girl Who Overdosed in His Home

Henley described calling a friend, who gave him the number for a “Madam,” who sent a girl to his house. “The girl was well-dressed and appeared to be nineteen or twenty,” Henley wrote. It is now known that the girl was 16 while Henley was in his 30s. The letter continued, “She asked me if I had any c*caine. I said that I did and got it out. We did some of it and she told me that she was only a temporary call-girl until she paid off a $2000 c*caine debt in San Diego.”

The letter then reveals where the trouble started, as Henley wrote, “She told me later after she got sick that she had taken more c*caine every time I got up to get her a drink or went to the toilet.”

Henley revealed that he and the girl attempted intimacy the next morning, contradicting his years-long statement that they did not engage in intercourse. He then went on to describe the scene in which the girl overdosed, writing, “She complained of not feeling well do I got her some aspirin. Then, I went to the bathroom. I head a crash in the bedroom. I rushed in and found her thrashing around on the bed. She appeared to be having an epileptic seizure. I called the paramedics immediately. She appeared to be all right by the time I hung up the phone.”

Don Henley’s 1981 letter to a probation officer in Santa Monica, via the Daily Mail

Paramedics Allegedly Said “Not To Worry About” Overdose

Once the paramedics arrived, Henley stated they asked the girl questions, which was when he found out how old she was. Allegedly, one of the paramedics “took me aside and told me they were not there to bust me for dope and not to worry about it. He also said that by regulation they were supposed to take her to the hospital, but in this case they would leave her there if I would look after her and make sure she was all right. I said that of course I would.”

From there, the letter details the girl leaving his home. She allegedly went to sleep for hours and would not get up despite Don Henley’s repeated efforts to wake her. He called one of the girl’s friends who came to get her. The girl finally got up, but as she and her friend were leaving, the police arrived and arrested everyone in the house.

According to a report from the Daily Mail, the girl survived and was arrested for prostitution. Don Henley pleaded no contest to charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was sentenced to two years probation and paid a $2,500 fine in 1981. The letter and Henley’s criminal history will be used as cross-examination in the stolen materials trial.

Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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