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Irish singer Sinead O’Connor found safe, Wilmette police say

Irish singer Sinead O'Connor performs on August 11, 2013 in France. | FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Irish singer Sinead O’Connor, missing in the Chicago area since she had not returned from an early Sunday bicycle ride, was found safe Monday, Wilmette Police said.

“She is safe and no longer listed as a missing/endangered person,” according to a statement from the Wilmette Police Department, which earlier Monday said O’Connor was missing and that police were trying to check on her after receiving a phone call from someone worried about her well-being.

Late Monday night, O’Connor’s Facebook page featured a rage-filled and profanity-laced post describing her mental anguish.

The post, an open letter to her first husband John Reynolds and other members of her family in Ireland, reads in part:

“None of you will ever see me again because of what you’ve done. If I manage not to kill myself, you’ll be paying the medical costs which have been and will continue to be involved with that, since you were and remain. the chief co-ordinator of my total psychological and emotional destruction.

“I will see you all in court. I want damages. I have been unable to work. I have lost last year’s income and this year’s. I have had enormous medical expenses, and enormous trauma because of your torturing of me. As I said. You f—–g best pray God kills me because unlike my poor mother, I will not let this drop. We are all going to court and we are gonna have this out in full public for once and for all.”

Two local television outlets reported that O’Connor was found Monday afternoon in a Best Western motel in Morton Grove, several miles west of the Wilmette home where she had been staying. In addition, another local media outlet is reporting that O’Connor was in a north suburban Chicago hospital Monday night receiving treatment.

O’Connor, 49, who reportedly has been staying in Wilmette for several weeks, went for a bicycle ride about 6 a.m. Sunday but never returned, according to the earlier police statement.

The singer apparently was staying at the home of local drummer Matt Walker, best known for his work with Filter, Smashing Pumpkins and Morrissey.

A neighbor said she had seen O’Connor on several occasions over the past few months.

Last week, the neighbor saw O’Connor on the front porch and asked her to see if the Walkers could move their car, which was blocking her garage.

“She yelled into the house. She had an Irish accent. But I didn’t realize it was Sinead O’Connor at the time,” the neighbor said.

Sinead O'Connor has been staying at this home in Wilmette.

Sinead O’Connor has been staying at this home in Wilmette. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

O’Connor played a David Bowie tribute concert/cancer awareness benefit concert in March at Metro, performing two songs, “Life on Mars” and “Sorrow.” She performed at City Winery in 2013 and 2014.

Earlier this month, Arsenio Hall filed suit against O’Connor when she accused him via a Facebook post of providing Prince with drugs. Prince died on April 21. The suit seeks $5 million in damages.

“We have seen the press reports and we’re aware of them,” said Orla McBreen, the Irish consul general in Chicago, had said before O’Connor was found. McBreen said local diplomatic officials couldn’t comment further, but “for general information, if Irish citizens are in need of assistance, the consulate would always provide appropriate assistance.”

O’Connor is most well-known for her mega-hit “Nothing Compares 2 U,” written by Prince. In 1991, O’Connor was named Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone.

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder more than a decade ago, O’Connor has spoken about her mental health problems. She told Oprah Winfrey in 2007 that before her diagnosis she had struggled with thoughts of suicide and overwhelming fear. She said at the time that medication had helped her find more balance, but “it’s a work in progress.”

In 2012, O’Connor she canceled a planned tour, saying she her doctor had told her to rest after a “very serious breakdown.” She played multi-night gigs at City Winery Chicago in 2013 and again in 2014.

Last November on Facebook, O’Connor posted a suicide threat, a reaction in part to the ongoing custody battle with Donal Lunny over their son, Shane, and recent medical issues she faced at the time, in which she wrote:

“There is only so much any woman can be expected to bear. … What was done to me this week was appalling cruelty. … The last two nights finished me off….  I have taken an overdose. There is no other way to get respect. I am not at home, I’m at a hotel, somewhere in Ireland, under another name. …. If I wasn’t posting this, my kids and family wouldn’t even find out.”

The singer was discovered some time later and reportedly received medical attention.

O’Connor, who has been married four times and has four children, signed a deal in 2014 to write a memoir.

According to chicago.cbslocal.com, photo journalist/CBS cameraman Lou Kleinberg spotted the singer in the north suburb last week and posted a picture on Facebook, which has been retweeted across social media.

According to Monday post by TMZ.com:

“The singer went out on a bicycle ride Sunday around 6 a.m. in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette, and has not been seen since.  According to an a police alert… O’Connor is being classified as “missing suicidal.” She was last seen on a Raleigh motorized bicycle with a pink basket …. and she’s reportedly wearing a black parka, black leather pants and a sweatshirt with “Ireland” on the back.

Paradigm Talent Agency, which represents O’Connor, declined comment when reached by The Associated Press on Monday. Her publicist didn’t immediately return a message.

Contributing: Maureen O’Donnell, Sun-Times News Wire, Associated Press