Lindsay Lohan’s accuser is fired by Betty Ford Center
The Betty Ford Center has fired an employee who accused actress Lindsay Lohan of assaulting her when she tried to administer an alcohol test, saying the worker violated patient confidentiality by speaking with the media about the incident.
But an attorney for technician Dawn Holland said Wednesday that the termination was retaliation for refusing to back off pursuing criminal charges against Lohan. The Dec. 12 incident is being investigated by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
The Rancho Mirage-based alcohol treatment center and drug rehabilitation clinic did not name the employee, but the firing came after the entertainment website TMZ.com posted a video and a document from Holland, who complained that the actress hurt her wrist during the incident. She also displayed a wrist brace.
“When patients come to the center for treatment, they come to a safe place where their identity is protected, where anonymity is safeguarded,” the Betty Ford Center said in a statement.
It was the first time the center had fired a worker for violating patient rights by talking with the media.
The employee told sheriff’s deputies that Lohan hurt her during an early morning confrontation as the technician tried to test the actress for alcohol at a Betty Ford Center housing complex in Palm Desert.
Depending on the investigation, the incident could be determined to be a violation of the terms of Lohan’s probation in her 2007 drunk-driving arrest and result in her being sent back to jail. Under the terms of her probation, Lohan cannot violate any laws.
Holland’s attorney, Keith Davidson, said that his client was unlawfully terminated by the Betty Ford Center because its management wanted her to back off on pursuing criminal charges against Lohan and that she did not violate patient privacy laws by talking to TMZ.com.
Davidson said his client was only discussing a police report she wrote and filed with sheriff’s deputies, alleging the criminal act.
In that report, Holland describes Lohan as becoming uncooperative about an alcohol test after consulting with her mother by phone, calling 911 and then allegedly tossing a phone at Holland.
“I threw up my left hand to block it and then she grabbed my right hand and tried to snatch the phone that I had up to my ear, then called me (expletive),” Holland wrote in the report.
Deputies said they received a 911 call to a complex of Betty Ford halfway houses at 1:03 a.m. for a disturbance and that a staffer subsequently claimed she was battered by Lohan and wanted the actress prosecuted.
Lohan’s attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley, said in a statement that it was the actress who made the 911 call to alert authorities to the incident . Holley did not provide further details.
Lohan checked into the rehab facility in September and was later ordered by the court to remain there until Jan. 3 to undergo treatment for chemical dependency.
At the time, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox rejected a prosecution request that Lohan serve six months in jail for failing drug tests while on probation for drunk driving.
Fox warned Lohan, however, that if she violated probation again, he would sentence her to a jail term.
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