Billy Joel Checks Into Rehab Again

He apparently had too many bottles of red or bottles of white, and now Billy Joel (search) is back in rehab.

The Piano Man, "following a recent bout of severe gastrointestinal distress," checked himself into an undisclosed facility "for treatment of alcohol abuse," his spokeswoman Claire Mercuri said yesterday.

It's the second time in less than three years the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter turned to rehab to overcome his booze blues. On June 12, 2002, he escaped serious injury in a car crash in East Hampton.

A cop said "there were no signs of alcohol," but days later Joel checked into Silver Hill (search), a chic Connecticut clinic.

Seven months later, he totaled his Mercedes-Benz S600 when he smashed it into a tree while driving alone in Sag Harbor.

Because cops said they could detect no smell of alcohol on him or in the car, they did not give him a Breathalyzer test.

Joel's ex-wife, supermodel Christie Brinkley (search), took photos of the crushed car and said that their daughter, Alexa Ray, then 17, had been riding in it hours before the crash.

"I'm worried about Billy, but like any mother would be, I am alarmed and concerned about my child's safety by this frightening pattern of accidents," she said.

In May 2003, Joel told NBC's "Dateline" that he was "an alcohol abuser," but insisted that's not the same as being an alcoholic.

"I can abuse alcohol. If the demons get me, I'll go on a bender," he told Katie Couric.

"It's happened to me before. That's why I went into rehab. I was on a binge. I was on a bender. And I said: 'This is stupid. I gotta stop.' And I went and I did stop."

Last October, Joel was singing a happy tune when he married his third wife, Kate Lee (search), who was 22, only four years older than his daughter, the maid of honor.

In January, Joel toasted pal Donald Trump's marriage to Melania Knauss in Palm Beach with a glass of champagne — then serenaded the newlyweds with a special tribute song.

But Joel kept stumbling through the lyrics of "That's Why The Donald Is a Trump."

His spokeswoman in sisted his delivery was not related to booze, but to poor lighting.

"He was making revisions right up until he went on stage," Mercuri said.

"Unfortunately, the additional lyrics that he jotted down were too hard to read with the spotlights in his face."