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."