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Lindsay Lohan rehab: Prosecutor gives 'tentative' OK to Betty Ford Center

May 03, 2013|By Richard Winton

After a day of uncertainty over the whereabouts of Lindsay Lohan, a Santa Monica prosecutor said Friday he has given "tentative approval" to the actress to serve her court-mandated rehab, apparently at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage.

Santa Monica chief deputy city attorney Terry White did not specify the facility, but sources told The Times that Lohan checked into the drug and alcohol rehabilitation center late Thursday night.

Facing the prospect of arrest for violating her probation, Lohan managed to rehire her former attorney, Shawn Holley, to try to keep her out of jail. Holley replaced attorney Mark Heller, who came under repeated criticism for his handling of her case.

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The moves capped a chaotic 24 hours in which Lohan showed up at Morningside Recovery in Newport Beach -- only to promptly leave. At that point, prosecutors said they did not know where she was and threatened to obtain an arrest warrant if she did not return because she was in violation of her probation.

White said Holley contacted him Thursday afternoon with a new plan to treat Lohan.

"I have given tentative approval but a more intensive investigation will be undertaken to make sure it complies with all the probation condition requirements," he said.

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Lohan spent several weeks at Betty Ford in late 2010.

Judge James Dabney has previously said that the facility where Lohan serves her 90-day sentence doesn't have to have locks like a jail. But Lohan must be forbidden from leaving the treatment location.

Holley, who represented Lohan for several years and managed to keep the actress out of jail for a jewelry theft, was part of the O.J. Simpson defense team and is among Southern California's top criminal defense attorneys.

Lohan was on the verge of another arrest -- and jail -- if she didn't check into rehab on Thursday.

In court Thursday morning, Lohan's attorney Heller told the judge that his client had already begun her therapy at the Morningside Recovery facility after opting not to go to a Long Island, N.Y., recovery center.

On Thursday, state officials said the Newport Beach facility was not licensed to provide residential drug or alcohol treatment; it is certified to operate as an outpatient clinic with sober living homes.

Heller told the judge the facility met all the conditions of Lohan's plea agreement in a case in which she was also convicted of lying to police.

The "Mean Girls" star's Porsche rear-ended a truck on the Pacific Coast Highway on June 8, but she denied she was driving. She entered a no contest plea in March and agreed to enter rehab, spend 18 months in psychotherapy and serve 30 days of community service.

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richard.winton@latimes.com

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