“Disappointed” Barbara Walters on Lindsay Lohan’s 20/20 Cancelation: “I Could Have Helped Her”

Barbara Walters, Lindsay Lohan, and Jay Leno Astrid Stawiarz/Getty; Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com; Brian To/WireImage.com

Barbara Walters is dumbfounded as to why Lindsay Lohan abruptly pulled out of an appearance on ABC's 20/20, scheduled to air Nov. 16.

The esteemed TV journalist, 83, spoke about the cancelation for the first time on The View Nov. 12. "My interview with Lindsay is canceled. She has new PR people, a very well-known group that we do business with all the time," Walters explained.

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"'Why is it canceled?'" Walters asked Lohan's rep. "'Lindsay doesn't feel up to it.' Well, I mean, she has a lot of problems, and it was just one more. I said, 'Poor girl, I hope when she feels like it, she will do it with us.'"

Walters felt slighted, however, when she discovered that Lohan will be promoting her new Lifetime movie, Liz & Dick, on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno instead. "If they'd said to me 'You know, Barbara, she isn't up to the kinds of questions that you might ask' . . . I wouldn't feel quite as disappointed as I do today."

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According to Walters, she would have conducted "a wonderful, wonderful interview" comparing Lohan's life to the late Elizabeth Taylor (who passed away in March 2011). Additionally, the 26-year-old "could have set a lot of things straight" and rehabbed her public image, Walters said.

"I like Lindsay Lohan very much. I've known her for years since she was a very little girl," Walters explained. "She said whenever she did an interview, she would sit down and do it with me."

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In June, Walters conducted the first part of her interview with Lohan on the set of Liz & Dick in L.A. "Even then, the producers were a little worried about whether or not she would be able to finish the film. When I saw her, she was in very good shape," the View co-host recalled. "We were supposed do the major interview last week. . . We were very excited about it. I spent a lot of time, doing a lot of homework, watching the actual movie. . . and then her longtime press agent resigned. That should have been a clue."

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Walters, who flashed her binder full of research as proof of her hard work, said she deserved "a more honest explanation" from Lohan's new representatives. "As far as Jay goes, I love Jay. More power to him," Walters said. "I think I would have helped her. I think to go on Jay Leno and be adorable and amusing, there's still all the problems with her."

Lohan will appear on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Nov. 20, five days before the premiere of Liz & Dick.

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