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Lohan probation at risk after rehab ditch

03 May 2013, 14:01

Los Angeles - Lindsay Lohan's whereabouts were unknown on Thursday hours after her attorney told a judge that the troubled actress had checked into a rehab facility only to later learn that the starlet apparently never checked in for treatment.

Lohan's lawyer and publicist did not return messages on Thursday seeking comment about the actress' decision to quickly leave a rehab facility that a state official said is not licensed to perform the type of restrictive in-patient treatment a judge sentenced her to undergo.

The Los Angeles Times reported late on Thursday that a prosecutor said Lohan was apparently in violation of her probation after spending only a few minutes at Morningside Recovery in Newport Beach.

'Completely blindsided'

Santa Monica Chief Deputy City Attorney Terry White did not return phone and e-mail messages about Lohan's case, but said after a court hearing earlier in the day that he was "completely blindsided" by Lohan's decision to check into Morningside. He had previously vetted and approved a different facility, he said.

Lohan's attorney Mark Heller assured Superior Court Judge James R Dabney at the hearing that Lohan was getting settled in at the centre and got the judge's tentative approval for the actress to remain at the centre while White investigated its credentials.

Lohan's sentence in a misdemeanour driving case requires her to serve 90 days in a lock-down rehab facility. Her choice of Morningside rankled White, who was given until 10 May to conduct his own investigation of the facility to make sure it complied with the terms of Lohan's sentence.

Not a hospital-style rehab

"We have successfully treated thousands of patients through our programme, many of which have been ordered to us by state and federal courts," Morningside's CEO Mary Helen Beatificato wrote in a statement.

"Our clinical team is highly specialised in the treatment of substance abuse and more importantly, the psychiatric illnesses which often accompany individuals suffering" from chemical dependency issues.

In a letter presented to Dabney on Thursday, Beatificato stated that Morningside was not a hospital-style rehab.

She wrote that Lohan would not receive day passes from Morningside's programmes, would undergo six hours of group counselling a day and be accompanied daily by a sober living coach. She would undergo three hours of individual counselling a week, the letter stated.

"While Morningside does not provide its treatment in a hospital-like setting, it does provide the structure and security necessary to ensure Ms Lohan's compliance with treatment goals, and, more importantly, court ordered conditions," Beatificato said.

Lohan pleaded no contest in March to reckless driving and lying to police who were investigating the June accident involving the actress along the Pacific Coast Highway.

The Liz & Dick star also was found in violation of her probation in a 2011 necklace theft and sentenced to 180 days behind bars, but her jail term can be avoided if she complies with the full terms of her sentence, which include community labour and 18 months of psychological therapy.

- AP


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