Lindsay Lohan was back in an all-too-familiar place on Thursday: legal limbo. The actress was facing another potential trip to jail after fleeing a court-ordered rehab facility just moments following her arrival.
Lohan, 26, who was ordered to enter a 90-day, locked-down rehabilitation facility in March after pleading no contest to reckless driving and lying to police, was originally expected to check into a rehab in New York, but changed her mind at the last minute, reportedly because that facility did not allow patients to smoke cigarettes.
She flew back to Los Angeles and arrived at Morningside Recovery in Newport Beach on Thursday, but, according to Us Magazine, checked out almost immediately. A source said that Lohan felt Morningside was, "not suitable for her ... There were too many paparazzi everywhere and she didn't feel safe. Nobody close to her is happy about this. They think she's really not being smart."
The New York Daily News reported that Lohan never even stepped foot inside Morningside, but instead went shopping at an electronics store in nearby Fountain Valley, California. Estranged father Michael Lohan told the paper that after a prosecutor called him he intervened and stopped Lohan from boarding a flight back to New York.
"If she's not in Morningside, she's in violation of her probation," Santa Monica city attorney Terry White said. Part of the problem is that Lohan's attorney, Mark Heller, was in court on Thursday morning where he assured prosecutors that Lohan was checking into Morningside — which is not legally licensed to provide treatment after having its credentials revoked in 2012 — as planned, even as White argued that Lohan had already violated the conditions of her plea deal by not enrolling in the pre-approved East Coast clinic.
According to TMZ, Lohan checked into the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California, late Thursday night, avoiding an arrest warrant. The last time Lohan was at Betty Ford she got into a fight with one of the staffers, which resulted in a civil lawsuit, which was eventually dropped.
A spokesperson for Lohan could not be reached for comment at press time.
When she last appeared in court, the judge in the case gave Lohan a very clear warning. "This is it: You violate your probation and we're not going to be having discussions," he said, warning that any future probation violation will send her directly to jail, with no more chances to avoid doing time.