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Dave Chappelle Says He's Not Crazy

NEW YORK (AP) - Comedian Dave Chappelle wants to set things straight:"I'm not crazy, I'm not smoking crack," he tells Time magazine in aninterview more than a week after his hit Comedy Central show wassuspended and the rumors started to fly.

I'm definitely stressed out," said Chappelle, who took off last monthto South Africa for a "spiritual retreat," leaving his fans - and evenhis agent and publicist - wondering where he went.

"You hear so many voices jockeying for position in your mind that youwant to make sure that you hear your own voice," he said. "So Ifigured, let me just cut myself off from everybody, take a minute andpull a Flintstone - stop a speeding car by using my bare feet as thebrakes."

After Comedy Central announced that the planned May 31 debut of thethird season of "Chappelle's Show" had been postponed, the magazineEntertainment Weekly reported that Chappelle had checked himself into amental health facility in South Africa.

"I'm not in a mental facility," said Chappelle, who also said he didnot have a drug problem but had consulted a psychiatrist for one40-minute visit.

The 31-year-old comedian said he fled to stay with friends in Durbanbecause he wasn't happy with the direction of the show, which is behindonly "South Park" as Comedy Central's most-watched program.

"There's a lot of resistance to my opinions, so I decided, 'Let me remove myself from this situation,'" Chappelle said.

Comedy Central president Doug Herzog told Time that the star has"complete creative freedom." He has told staff he believes there won'tbe a "Chappelle's Show" in 2005, but leaves the option open for thecomedian's return.

Chappelle, whose wife and two children live in Ohio, said he hopes tostart up the show again, but did not indicate when he would return.