Report: Lohan Chooses Betty Ford Center Over Unlicensed Newport Beach Rehab Facility
RANCHO MIRAGE (CBSLA.com) — Lindsay Lohan has checked in at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, according to CBS News.
At a progress hearing Thursday morning, Lohan’s attorney, Mark Heller, told Judge James R. Danbey that his client was “ensconced in the bosom” of Morningside Recovery Center in Newport Beach.
However, Splash News photos released later in the day showed the actress at a Fountain Valley Fry’s Electronics store at 9 a.m. – 30 minutes after Heller told Danbey Lohan was in rehab.
Some members of the paparazzi had been waiting for the star at the center since late Wednesday evening, but witnesses say they never saw the actress arrive.
According to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, Morningside is not licensed to provide residential alcohol or other drug treatment at any of its 11 facilities.
“No residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment facility may be operated in the state without a current, valid license issued by the Department. At this time, Morningside is not licensed to operate a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment facility at any location in California. The Department is currently in litigation with Morningside regarding their continued operation of residential alcoholism or drug abuse facilities without a license. The trial on those issues is scheduled for December 2, 2013 in the Orange County Superior Court,” the DAPD said in a statement issued to CBSLA.
Mary Helen Beatificato, Chief Executive Officer of Morningside Recovery, issued the following statement to CBSLA:
“The ADP has alleged since April 2012 that Morningside’s operation of structured sober living homes and a clinical facility require an additional residential treatment license. However, this issue has been litigated on at least 3 different occasions. First, at an administrative law hearing on May 20, 2012, and at two subsequent Orange County Superior Court hearings in November 2012 and March 2013. At the most recent court hearings, the ADP’s requested a shut-down order as well as an alternative order which would have prevented Morningside from admitting any new clients. All of the ADP’s requests have been denied.”
It was not immediately clear if that was why Lohan ultimately chose Betty Ford, but a prosecutor confirmed Friday that Lohan arrived before a midnight deadline and did not violate the terms of her probation.
The troubled actress had court approval to enter a rehab facility in New York, but the center’s alleged anti-smoking policy reportedly prompted Lohan to reconsider.
Lohan was sentenced to three months in rehab after pleading no contest in March to misdemeanor lying charges stemming from June 2012 accident on Pacific Coast Highway. She was also sentenced to 18 months of psychotherapy and 30 days of community service.
Santa Monica City Attorney Terry White was blindsided by Lohan’s initial decision to stay at Morningside.
“Apparently, we have a facility that neither the LA City Attorney or my office has agreed with. I just heard about it yesterday,” White said.
A new hearing was set for May 10 for prosecutors to decide whether the Morningside “program is acceptable,” Danbey said.
It was unclear if that hearing would be canceled now that Lohan is at the Betty Ford Clinic.
Heller will have to show the court his client’s proof of rehab completion on July 31.