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In sending Lindsay Lohan back to rehab, judge is compassionate yet stern

October 22, 2010 | 10:08 am


In sending Lindsay Lohan back to the Betty Ford Center, L.A. Superior Court Judge Elden Fox showed he was compassionate yet stern, warning the actress that any misstep would result in a three-month jail sentence.

In the end, Fox was swayed by the argument that Lohan has made significant progress since entering the famous rehab center in Rancho Mirage. Lohan even submitted a hand-written letter to the judge, in which she acknowledged being an addict.

At the same time, Fox was unflinching in telling the "Mean Girls" actress what fate awaited her if she violated his court order by using drugs or alcohol.

"If you can make it to Feb. 25, are you listening?" Fox told Lohan from the bench in Beverly Hills, "I'm going to convert your case to unsupervised probation, and you can move on with your life and put this long episode behind you."

Lohan wiped away tears and thanked the judge.

"I'm sort of new to this rodeo," Fox said. "But for all these people out here following the case and broadcasting it, there's nothing better than a train wreck for a celebrity, and you're not going to do that in this courtroom."

Assistant District Atty. Danette Meyers argued in court Friday that Lohan still was not registering the seriousness of the situation and asked the judge to sentence her to 180 days in jail.

"To continue the cycle of program, violation, ensuing jail time, program, violation, doesn't do any good to her or the state of California," Meyers said. "I wish she would get it together, and we could get her attention."

Jail time was the "only way she knows we're serious," Meyers said.

Lohan's attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley, noted that Lohan had received two positive reports from the Betty Ford Center and that the probation office had also recommended she remain in treatment.

"She voluntarily went into treatment and she chose a program that is known to be hard-core," Chapman Holley said, adding that the reports "speak to her progress, her commitment."

"She's trying her best," Chapman Holley said.

-- Victoria Kim at the Beverly Hills courthouse and Andrew Blankstein in Los Angeles

Photo: Lindsay Lohan arrives at the Beverly Hills Courthouse for a hearing to determine whether she violated her probation in a pair of driving under the influence cases by failing a court-ordered drug test last month. Credit: Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images