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Lindsay Lohan is expected to stay at Betty Ford Center a few more days

The actress was scheduled to be released Monday from the Palm Desert rehab clinic, but an allegation that she attacked a female staffer at the facility could send her back to jail.

January 04, 2011|By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times

Actress Lindsay Lohan could have walked out of the Betty Ford Center on Monday, the day her court order to stay at the drug and alcohol rehab clinic ended.

But Lohan was expected to remain at the clinic a few more days as she tries to rebuild her life after a year in which she made more court appearances than movies. A sign of her anticipated freedom came over the weekend when Lohan returned to the world of social media after a rehab-required absence.

"Today is the first day of the rest of my life," she wrote on Twitter. " 'The future depends on what we do in the present.' — Mahatma Gandhi....One step at a time...."

A possible hindrance to that turnaround is a Palm Desert police investigation into an allegation that Lohan attacked a female staffer at the clinic, an allegation that could potentially send the "Mean Girls" actress back to jail.

Prosecutors say they have not decided whether to pursue the alleged Dec. 12 incident, but the medical technician who made the accusation announced shortly before Christmas that she no longer wanted to press charges and that she sympathized with the plight of a fellow recovering addict.

Technician Dawn Holland initially told Palm Desert police that she wanted Lohan charged with battery after the actress allegedly attacked her when she tried to check Lohan's sobriety. Holland initially told police that Lohan had hurt her wrist.

Lohan called 911, apparently distressed over the conflict at the halfway house in Palm Desert.

Authorities still could determine that Lohan violated her probation, but Holland's change of heart would make prosecution difficult.

Lohan checked into the Betty Ford Center in September after testing positive for drugs while on probation for a 2007 drunk-driving conviction. A judge that same month ordered that she remain there until Jan. 3. The judge warned that if she violated probation again, she would do six months in jail.

richard.winton@latimes.com

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