Actress Lindsay Lohan is at risk of violating her probation after leaving a rehabilitation clinic minutes after she checked in for alcohol and substance abuse.
The star is said to have left Morningside Recovery rehabilitation centre in Los Angeles because the clinic is not licensed to perform the type of restrictive in-patient addiction treatment Lohan is sentenced to undergo.
Lohan’s sentence in a misdemeanour driving case requires her to serve 90 days in a lockdown rehab facility. But Milicent Tidwell, acting deputy director of licensing and certification for the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programmes, said that Lohan’s chosen clinic is not licensed to perform the residential in-patient addiction treatment she legally requires.
Santa Monica chief deputy city solicitor Terry White said he was “completely blindsided” by Lohan’s decision to check into Morningside Recovery. He said he had previously vetted and approved a different facility.
However, the star’s solicitor Mark Heller told a Los Angeles court that Lohan had got the judge's tentative approval for the actress to remain at Morningside Recovery while White investigated its credentials.
“My client is ensconced in the bosom of that facility right now,” Heller said after a prosecutor objected to Lohan's choice of rehab facilities. “She's in rehab right now. Nothing bad is going to happen.”
Tidwell said her department was pursuing a case against the rehab clinic because it continues to offer residential drug and alcohol treatment programs without a license.
Morningside Recovery has disputed it was unlicensed to carry out Lohan’s intensive lockdown rehabilitation treatment. CEO Mary Helen Beatificato said: “Our clinical team is highly specialized in the treatment of substance abuse and more importantly, the psychiatric illnesses which often accompany individuals suffering from chemical dependency issues.”
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 actress was also found to have violated 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 includes community labour and 18 months of psychological therapy.
Lohan's lawyer and publicist did not return messages seeking comment about the actress' decision to quickly leave the rehab facility.