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Rosie O'Donnell: Lindsay Lohan remarks were out of concern

Rosie O’Donnell arrives on the red carpet for

Rosie O’Donnell arrives on the red carpet for the “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth-Live on Stage” grand opening show at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. (April 14, 2012) Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Rosie O'Donnell returned to NBC's "Today" Thursday to address the controversy created by her criticisms of actress Lindsay Lohan two days earlier.

O'Donnell, who said Lohan "needs a lot of help" for the much-publicized personal issues that have plagued the actress, Thursday told Matt Lauer she had only meant to sound an alarm.

Comparing Lohan to Whitney Houston, whose substance abuse contributed to her recent death, O'Donnell said, "Watching Whitney Houston's funeral I remember thinking, 'Why didn't more people say what they knew?' We all knew. When she would not show up to do this show, not show up to do my show."

She added: "We watched [Houston's reality series] 'Being Bobby Brown' -- It was like watching 'Sid and Nancy,' " the 1986 movie biography of the self-destructive Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. "[Houston and Brown] were people in the throes of addiction. But all anyone cared about was that the show was getting ratings, not that this woman, this talented individual, this human being, this mother, this daughter, was worth saving. . . . To look at Lindsay Lohan, you can't help but feel for her. And I do not think she's untalented -- I think she's quite talented."

O'Donnell tweeted Thursday afternoon that she "did not intend to be judgmental or mean."

Responding to O'Donnell's original comments, Lohan told "Access Hollywood" on Tuesday, "It's funny that someone you don't know at all can say something so intrusive and so knowing. . . . She should base her opinions [after] she meets someone, one on one."


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