LOS ANGELES – A day that began with authorities confirming Lindsay Lohan was being investigated for battery on a female staffer at a California rehab facility treating the starlet ended with the worker fired after giving an interview about the incident.
Riverside County sheriff’s detectives said Tuesday they are investigating the “Mean Girls” star for an alleged altercation with a worker at a Betty Ford Center facility in Palm Desert that occurred after 1 a.m. on Dec. 12.
The agency declined to say what prompted the fight, but said the worker was interested in pursuing charges against Lohan.
Betty Ford spokesman Russ Patrick said the staffer was fired for identifying patients at the center in an interview and “disclosing a privileged document.”
Although Betty Ford and the sheriff’s department did not identify the worker, she appeared in an interview on celebrity website TMZ on Tuesday afternoon and was promptly fired. She claims the 24-year-old Lohan and two other girls had sneaked out of the facility.
In the video, Dawn Holland claims she was trying to get Lohan to submit to a breathalyzer test when the actress became belligerent, pushed her and snatched a phone from her hand, straining her arm.
Attempts to reach Holland were unsuccessful. A phone number registered to her was not accepting calls Tuesday evening.
Lohan has not been arrested or charged in the incident. Her attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley, said in an e-mailed statement that it was the actress who called for police.
She declined to offer additional details, citing the ongoing sheriff’s investigation.
While the fallout for Holland was swift, Lohan’s situation remains unclear. A judge has ordered her to remain at Betty Ford until Jan. 3 and remain out of trouble until Feb. 25. He also ordered her to submit to all drug and alcohol screenings or face up to six months in jail for violating her probation on a 3-year-old drunk driving case.
Riverside County sheriff’s Deputy Herlinda Valenzuela said Lohan’s case would be presented to prosecutors, who will decide whether Lohan faces a new charge.
Lohan has been receiving treatment at the Betty Ford Center and its facilities, about 120 miles east of Los Angeles, since late September.
Patrick’s statement said that until Tuesday, Betty Ford had upheld the confidentiality of 96,000 patients who had received treatment there since it opened in 1982.
He said Holland’s interview was a breach of trust and the rehab process.
“When patients come to the center for treatment, they come to a safe place where their identity is protected, where anonymity is safeguarded,” he said in an e-mail. “Their simple priority when in treatment is to learn how to live a life free of alcohol and other drugs.
“Confidentiality and trust are key to the treatment and recovery process.”
Lohan’s stint at Betty Ford is her fifth stay in rehab and her second this year.
Beginning in July, she was jailed for 14 days, followed by three weeks at inpatient rehab. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox agreed to release her early from treatment at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in late August based on doctor’s recommendations.
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