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Rehab is what's right for Lohan

Judge Elden Fox ruled on Friday the way many experts expected when he ordered Lindsay Lohan back to rehabat the Betty Ford Center. Lohan will have to continue rehab until Jan. 3, and will likely avoid having to return to jail at all for her probation violation. The most obvious point being made here is an important one: that getting better means working on getting better, not just sitting in a
Lindsay Lohan exits a probation violation hearing at Beverly Hills Courthouse in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Friday.
Lindsay Lohan exits a probation violation hearing at Beverly Hills Courthouse in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Friday.Chris Pizzello/AP

Judge Elden Fox ruled on Friday the way many experts expected when he ordered Lindsay Lohan back to rehabat the Betty Ford Center. Lohan will have to continue rehab until Jan. 3, and will likely avoid having to return to jail at all for her probation violation. The most obvious point being made here is an important one: that getting better means working on getting better, not just sitting in a jail cell with little human contact. According to prominent Los Angeles-based attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan, rehab is “the very thing our (legal) system has put on a pedestal as being the first step” in meaningful recovery. The second point, and maybe the more profound one to the people who feed off Lohan financially, is that rehab is going to put Lohan’s career firmly on the pause button. But more importantly for Lohan, it’s going to put the publicity machine in the same place. Acting isn’t what gets Lohan into trouble, it’s all the attention she gets between projects that gets her in trouble. Every magazine cover, photo shoot and paid appearance sends Lohan a message that her behavior isn’t all that bad. If Lohan stays in rehab until January, and the paparazzi leave her alone and her camp isn’t allowed to invite magazines in to shoot her (as they did when she was at Cirque Lodge Treatment Center in 2007), this could mark her longest period of time outside the spotlight in nearly a decade. In court, Judge Fox told Lohan, “You are an addict and I hope you understand that. You won’t be the first or last to destroy a celebrity career.” In show business, the only thing that catches more attention than destroying a career with a dramatic exit is coming back with grand entrance, and Feb. 25 might become just that. Hollywood will be there waiting. Related: Timeline of Lindsay's ups and downs

Slideshow of the life and career of Lindsay Lohan