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Dina Lohan: Judge Played “Hardball” With Lindsay

Dina Lohan downplayed Lindsay's jail time, admits she's leaving rehab early and says her troubled daughter will move to New York in an interview on the Today show Friday morning.

When asked by Matt Lauer if Lindsay, 24, deserved to be in jail, Dina pointed out that Judge Marsha Revel had been recused from the case and said, "I think she went overboard and played serious hardball with Lindsay… [She didn't deserve jail] for this particular offense. She violated… actually, didn't violate… she was in for missing a couple of classes that she made up, and she was working at the time. The judge went overboard and put her in serious lockdown for two weeks."

VIDEO: How Lindsay wound up in jail

Lindsay was sentenced to 90 days, of which she served 12, for skipping court-ordered alcohol education classes related to her 2007 DUI conviction.

Dina says her daughter did not receive special treatment at the Lynwood Correctional Facility.

She will be released from rehab before serving the court-ordered 90-days, "because the judge recused herself. She went against the district attorney's advice. It will be… soon."

Lindsay has spent less than 30 days at the UCLA Medical Center.

PHOTOS: Lindsay's biggest OMG moments

When asked how Lindsay is doing in rehab, Dina told Lauer, "She's great. She's been through a lot. The judge played hardball. Lindsay was in prison with alleged murderers, and she's become friends with a lot of them. Lindsay's rolled with the punches and she's doing wonderfully. The judge was fired."

Lauer asked if jail and rehab could have been a good thing for the troubled actress given all the media reports about her behavior. Dina responded, "I think that's all propaganda, what people are reading…." Dina also denied that Lindsay is currently on her fourth stint in rehab, insisting she went just two times.

"I actually put her in rehab [the first time]. When you say works or not works, I don't know what works. She was 19 years old. She went to Los Angeles and was a young girl and got in trouble. And I'm certainly not condoning drinking and driving and what she did, but she's still paying a price for what she did in 2007 to now. It's the same offense. Nothing has changed."

PHOTOS: Stars behind bars

Dina says that Lindsay will leave rehab a changed person because she's been "living life and growing up."

Lauer asked if Dina felt she and her father Michael had done enough to help turn Lindsay's life around. Said Dina, "As a parent — and you're a parent — you have to let them go a little bit,  and when she went out to Los Angeles when she was 19, I had to let her go and live and fall and fail and survive. Without failure, there's no success. 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 can't condone her behavior… I put her in rehab."

Dina blamed "tabloids" multiple times for Lindsay's trouble, saying her daughter's life "is magnified."

"In the old days, Julia Roberts didn't have somebody following them in their relationships," says Dina.

Lauer also questions Dina on her reputation as a "party mom/stage mom," to which Dina replies, "I was in the business before my children were born." [Her mom was on soap operas, she says, and she grew up in New York.] As for Michael speaking to the press, Dina says, "I haven't been with him in 15 years, I have criminal stay aways… he doesn't speak to Lindsay, he doesn't speak to our other children."

Despite Lindsay's trouble in L.A., Dina wouldn't hesitate to let her other three kids go into show business. "I'm producing a film my son will be starring in. He's in finance, but he's also an actor. I wouldn't stop my children from doing anything they want to do."

Dina says Lindsay will return to her native New York after she's released from rehab.

"California is a wonderful state…[but] the court system is different there," she says.

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