Lindsay Lohan raises prosecutors ire in last-minute rehab switch
Actress Lindsay Lohan entered a Southern California rehabilitation facility on Thursday as part of a court-ordered plea deal over a car crash last year, her lawyer said, but her last-minute switch of rehab centers left prosecutors fuming.
Lohan, 26, initially agreed to complete a 90-day stay in a locked rehab facility in the New York area, but instead caught prosecutors off guard by checking into a facility in Newport Beach, about 40 miles south of Los Angeles.
“Your honor, this is very inappropriate,” Santa Monica City Deputy Attorney Terry White told the court. “This is not what we contemplated at the last hearing.”
The “Mean Girls” actress agreed to plead no contest in March to charges that she lied to police when she said she was not driving her Porsche sports car when it smashed into a truck on June 8, 2012, in Santa Monica, California.
Lohan, who has spent at least five stints in rehab in the past six years, agreed to spend three months in a rehab center, complete 30 days of community service and undergo psychotherapy as part of her plea deal to avoid jail time.
White said his office was asked to approve a number of rehabilitation facilities for Lohan but the one in Newport Beach was not on the list and had not been vetted by prosecutors.
“We did not approve this facility,” White said, voice rising, in court. “We did not look into this facility. We don’t know anything about this facility.”
Lohan’s attorney Mark Heller told the court that the facility meets the terms of the plea bargain.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Dabney said the facility “appeared to comply” with the agreement but gave prosecutors a week to investigate the Morningside Recovery center.
Morningside Recovery’s website shows pictures of sunsets on the beach, and offers clients group trips to Disneyland, sailing and kayaking.
A May 10 court hearing has been set for prosecutors to raise any objections to the facility.
Lohan, who was on probation for a 2011 conviction for stealing a necklace, had faced the prospect of being sent to jail if she was convicted on the latest charges, or if she was deemed to have violated the terms of her 2011 probation.