When you're a celebrity with substance abuse issues, you basically have three options if you're caught in a public relapse. You can have your rep issue some bullshit excuse about how you were exhausted and dehydrated. You can remain completely silent on the issue, even if you were photographed in the nude doing lines of coke off a barstool in Tijuana. Or, you can tell the truth about what happened and hope that in this case, honesty really is the best policy.

Kelly Osbourne went with the third option recently, after reports surfaced that she'd had a drunken breakdown on a flight from L.A. to Atlanta on June 19. Osbourne has been to rehab four times for drug and alcohol addiction, so it was a little shocking to hear that she'd been drinking again -- and as it turns out, she's not exactly clean and sober these days.

Osbourne's flight started in a normal enough fashion, with her tweeting a photo of herself sitting in first class looking well-groomed and in good spirits. Somewhere along the four-hour flight, though, she began ordering drinks, and eventually "looked completely disheveled and was basically carried down the corridor to the airport tram."

Less than 24 hours after the flight, Osbourne alluded to the incident with the following tweet:


Osbourne has now exclusively admitted to Radar Online that she did in fact get drunk on the flight, primarily because she was thinking about her brother's recent MS diagnosis:

(...) before I got on the plane a gentleman came up to me and asked me how my brother was doing and told me about his brother having MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and directed me towards a website. On the plane I started looking at the website. It described how bad certain cases of MS got, and it made me lose it because I’ve sat through my mother having breast cancer, my dad almost dying from a bike accident, and now it’s my brother who’s my best friend.

In news that might be a surprise to some of her fans, Osbourne says that despite her stints in rehab, she still drinks -- although she says it's only on occasion:

I have not lied about it. I have the occasional drink. I will never lie about that. That’s my choice that I make and I’m an adult and I have to be responsible for my actions. (...) The way I live my life after going to rehab is not the way that most people do. It isn’t. Yes, I still drink and I’ve always said that. I do have the occasional drink. I’m not using, I haven’t. I won’t. I’m not going to do that.

While I admire her honesty, the way she downplays the incident feels a little weird to me:

But it’s not like I was f*cking claiming there was a colonial woman on the wing. Like I was so out of it they had to land the plane or something. I got drunk on a plane, big deal. (...) I’m not one of those starlets that’s drinking vodka out of a water bottle thinking no one knows. If I’m going to have a f*cking drink, I’m 27 years old. I’m going to have one. Unfortunately I decided to have one on a plane to Atlanta and burst into tears.

Well ... but it kind of IS a big deal, right? I mean, when you've been to rehab four times but you're still getting so shitfaced on a plane that you have to be physically helped off, that seems like a different situation than "I had ONE drink (because I'm 27!) and I cried a little bit."

I have my own substance abuse issues and I abstain from alcohol because I know that for me it's never "occasionally" or "just one," but I don't believe that there's only one way to deal with addiction. If Kelly Osbourne truly can drink in moderation, good for her. I don't think she would be doing anyone any favors by lying about what happened on that plane, and I give her full credit for being brave enough to admit she had a bad moment.

But I also don't think she's doing herself any favors by pretending this was no big deal. In my opinion, figuring out how to deal with super shitty situations -- like a loved one's health crisis -- without relying on mood-altering substances is pretty much a key component of avoiding a fifth visit to rehab.

What do you think of Kelly Osbourne's explanation for why she was drinking?

Image via Instagram/kellyosbourne