Dina Lohan Felt 'Ambushed' By Matt Lauer: Friend
By Marc Schneider Posted Aug 13th 2010 01:08PM
"Dina felt ambushed by Matt," a family friend told PopEater after speaking with Lohan. "She was surprised how many tough questions he asked."
According to our source, Lohan wanted to focus the 'Today' chat on Judge Marsha Revel's alleged mishandling of her daughter's case, along with her take on the media's portrayal of Lindsay.
"She didn't understand why [Lauer] kept asking her those other questions -- she knows she's a great mother and Lindsay will get out of rehab soon," the friend insists. "Everyone makes mistakes, it's just that Lindsay makes it into the papers."
Lauer pressed Lohan on her parenting skills in the oft-terse interview, but she rebuffed, saying she had to let the troubled actress go through personal trials in order to emerge a better person.
"As a parent, you have to let them go a little bit," she said during the Friday morning chat. "When she went out to Los Angeles when she was 19, I had to let her live and fall and fail and survive. Without failure, there's no success."
Dina Lohan stressed that she does not condone Lindsay's behavior -- "You can't make your child not go out and go to a club and not get behind the wheel of a car" -- and confirmed reports that Lindsay will be released early from rehab, but declined to say exactly when. In her chat with Lauer, the celebrity mom said her daughter was doing "wonderfully" after 14 days in jail for a DUI probation violation.
Lauer also appeared to trip up Lohan in a discussion of how many times Lindsay has been to rehab. She insisted it had only been twice, but the actress has in fact gone four times. Our source tells us Dina was referring to court-ordered stints (2) and not the pair of times Lindsay sought help of her own volition.
Lohan also raised eyebrows when she told Lauer that she hasn't been with ex-husband Michael Lohan for 15 years, even though their divorce was only finalized in 2007. Again, our source: "Yes, she has spoken to and seen Michael, but he hasn't been a father or a husband for over 15 years."
Lohan canceled her other scheduled interview on Friday -- with PopEater's Naughty But Nice Rob -- citing exhaustion.
Dina Lohan leaves Lynwood Correctional Facility after visiting her daughter on July 29. Check out more pics of the Lohan Clan >>
Getty Images North America
Throughout the interview, Dina tried to return the focus to Judge Revel, whom she blasted for going "overboard" with her sentence and rejoiced in her recent recusal of the case.
"The judge played hardball," she told Lauer. "Lindsay was in with alleged murderers and she's become friends with a lot of them. Lindsay rolled with the punches and she's doing wonderfully."
Lauer was pointed with his questions, and Lohan brushed off the notion that many believe Lindsay had her punishment coming to her because of bad behavior.
"I think that's all propaganda and what people are reading," she told him. "As you know, you're in the business of entertainment, so I think a lot of it is pre-orchestrated and you're reading things that are not based on fact."
Just after Dina's 'Today' show appearance, her ex-husband was interviewed on 'The Early Show,' and voiced his disapproval of Lindsay's early release from rehab. "She needs help. If she's not taken off all of the drugs, if she doesn't have therapy, family therapy as well as individual, I feel it's just a Band-Aid and it's not going to get any better," he said.
Michael also expressed his desire to reconnect with Lindsay as she continues along the road to recovery -- "We have to mend fences ... This is not something we can just overlook anymore" -- and lamented his poor relationship with Dina. "I don't understand how she comes out with some of these things she says," Michael said. "But that's on her. That's not on me. This is about our daughter. It's not about being part of her career. It's about being parents."
Lohan also said Lindsay will moving back to New York after finishing her commitments in Los Angeles. California is "a wonderful state," she said, but "it's a different game you play there, the court system is a little different."
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