Lindsay Lohan leaves jail for hospital

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The Independent Online

For the first time in several years, Lindsay Lohan found herself being rewarded for good behaviour today, when she was whisked-out of prison under the cover of darkness and allowed to swap her spartan jail cell for the gilded cage of an upmarket Los Angeles rehabilitation clinic.

The actress emerged from the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood shortly after 1.30am and was driven to a treatment facility run by UCLA, where she is now required to spend the next three months being weaned-off alcohol, prescription painkillers, and recreational drugs.

Her release came 13 days into a 90-day jail prison sentence which had begun last month, when a judge found that she had repeatedly violated the terms of her probation on a 2007 drink-driving conviction by failing to attend a series of court-mandated “alcohol education” classes.

Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the LA County Sheriff’s Department, said that Lohan owed her early release partly to good behaviour, and partly to a programme aimed at reducing chronic overcrowding in local prisons. She was taken directly to the UCLA facility, with a police escort.

“When an inmate is released they leave with the clothes they came in,” he told reporters. “She was given two huge bags full of mail and books. She was noticeably moved by the amount of mail and books sent to her. She thanked everybody as she left.”

Lohan was once one of Hollywood’s most promising young actresses, but her career has nosedived due to an erratic private life which has been endlessly chronicled by the local paparazzi. In a (largely successful) effort to outfox photographers gathered outside the prison in Lynwood, two black “decoy” Cadillac Escalades drove away from the facility, half an hour before she was more discretely slipped out.