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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lindsay Lohan's mother blamed her daughter's jail term on a judge that "played hardball" and defended the troubled star on Friday, but said she would retreat from Hollywood after finishing a stint in rehab to move back to New York.
Dina Lohan told U.S. morning talk show NBC's "Today" she didn't think her 24 year-old daughter deserved jail time -- "not for this particular offense," she said.
"She's been through a lot. The judge played hardball. 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," she told Matt Lauer in an interview involving several terse exchanges.
Lohan is currently in a 90-day drug and alcohol rehabilitation program at the University of California Los Angeles after having served 13 days behind bars for violating her probation in a pair of drunken driving cases in 2007.
The California judge who sent Lohan to jail removed herself last week from the actress's drunken driving probation proceedings, following complaints she had improper conversations about the case.
Dina Lohan said her daughter was now a changed person, had "grown up considerably" and would be moving to New York when she left rehab, which she expected to come sooner than the allotted time.
"She will be coming back to New York," she said. "Los Angeles is a little...It's a different game you play there, the court system is a little different."
She disagreed that she and her estranged ex-husband Michael Lohan -- who admitted to CBS' "The Early Show" on Friday he had "made my mistakes" -- had not done enough to turn the young actress' life around.
"I had to let her go and let her live and fall and fail and survive. Without failure, there's no success," she said. "I was there in close proximity, but you can't make your child not go out and go to a club and not get behind the wheel of a car. I certainly don't condone any of that behavior."
The troubled actress rose to fame in Disney movies like "Freaky Friday" and enjoyed hits such as "Mean Girls" but began to see her career fall apart as Hollywood's nightlife caught up with her.
In 2007, she was arrested for drunken driving and cocaine possession and served 84 minutes in jail along with being put on probation.
In July, Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail and another 90 days in rehab for missing alcohol education classes imposed as part of her probation on the 2007 charges. Her prison sentence was cut to 13 days due to overcrowding.
Reporting by Christine Kearney, Editing by Bob Tourtellotte