Dec 22, 11:34 PM (ET) By JILL BARTON WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Rush Limbaugh paid "substantial" blackmail to a former maid before she told law enforcement and a tabloid newspaper about his addiction to prescription painkillers, his attorney told a judge Monday. Attorney Roy Black said Limbaugh could not complain to authorities about the maid's demand for $4 million because they would use the information against him, and that the maid and her husband "bled him dry" before going public anyway. The claim was made during a court hearing where Black asked that medical records related to Limbaugh be kept secret. The seizure of the records from doctors in Florida and California violated the conservative radio commentator's privacy, Black argued. Palm Beach County prosecutors insist they need to review the records, which are sealed, to determine how much Limbaugh's doctors knew about his frequent prescriptions for OxyContin, hydrocodone and other painkillers. Assistant State Attorney James Martz said judges approved the warrants after investigators discovered Limbaugh received more than 2,000 painkillers, prescribed by four doctors, at a pharmacy near his $24 million mansion. "Now the next question is did those doctors know about each other?" Martz said. Reviewing the records would be the only way to determine if Limbaugh violated the law by withholding information from his doctors - and went "doctor shopping" for drugs. Limbaugh's attorneys outlined a defense against accusations that he illegally used prescription painkillers and laundered money to finance his drug habit. Black said Limbaugh suffered from a degenerative disc disease with "pain so great at one point doctors thought he had bone cancer," and that Limbaugh chose to take addictive painkillers rather than have surgery. Surgery would have meant doctors would have gone through Limbaugh's throat to operate on his spine, which could threaten his career as a commentator, Black said. Limbaugh's former maid, Wilma Cline, learned of his addiction and threatened to sell the story to The National Enquirer. She and her husband, David Cline, demanded millions and were "paid substantial amounts of money," the lawyer said. The couple "bled him dry" and then went to authorities to gain immunity from prosecutors before selling their story for $250,000 to the Enquirer, Black said. The tabloid ran a story in October, days before Limbaugh announced he would enter a drug rehabilitation program, alleging they supplied him drugs for years. Black said Limbaugh paid money to the Clines because they were blackmailing him - not because he was laundering money. "It's not money laundering to pay blackmail and extortion," Black said. Ed Shohat, the attorney for the Clines, denied Black's allegation. "Rush Limbaugh confessed and admitted that he bought the pills. ... I know of no facts that my clients demanded money from Rush Limbaugh in any way," he said. Limbaugh allegedly withdrew cash 30 to 40 times at amounts just under the $10,000 limit that requires a bank to report the transaction to the federal government. The action drew suspicion because it can be a federal crime to structure financial transactions below the $10,000 limit. "This would never happen except this guy's name is Rush Limbaugh," Black said about the financial probe. "There's a double standard." Martz declined to comment after the hearing. Judge Jeffrey A. Winikoff did not say when he would decide whether the records should be unsealed.