Lucky No. 7.
On Thursday morning, a day before her scheduled arraignment in Beverly Hills, La-La let LiLo off with seven misdemeanor DUI charges in connection with her two arrests for drunk driving in May and July. Two counts each for driving under the influence, driving with a blood alcohol count of more than .08 percent, being under the influence of cocaine and one count of reckless driving.
Later that afternoon, it was announced that a plea deal had been reached, and Lohan would serve a whopping one day in jail, plus 10 days of community service.
Now, TMZ is speculating that the D.A. went soft on Lohan because her successive arrests in such a short period of time indicate that she has real problems.
I’ve got to say I kind of have a problem with these charges, too.
If any of the Hollywood Fo’ — Paris, Nicole, Britney and LiLo — deserved to be on lockdown for their careless and potentially fatal offenses, it’s Lohan. Rehab didn’t help her. Angry letters from studio bosses didn’t faze her. Jane Fonda’s sage advice didn’t penetrate. And let’s not even discuss her terminally dysfunctional parents, Michael and Dina.
Their inability to parent properly is the only reason I have an ounce of empathy for their baby girl. If they hadn’t messed up, she probably wouldn’t be so messed up.
But instead of spending a couple weeks in jail, where she would have time to contemplate the error of her ways and perhaps make a few new friends, Lohan, who has been holed up at a posh rehab facility in Sundance, Utah, — reading the Alcoholics Anonymous handbook and playing with dogs — will only have to spend one day behind bars.
L.A. law. You gotta love it, right? If I were Paris Hilton or Lil’ Kim, I’d be really ticked off right about now.
I wonder if those photo opps with the AA book and the dogs helped her get over.
No Zone Diet entrees in jail?It’s times like these that I wonder what the rest of the world thinks about the way we handle our legal matters in America. It’s not just about a few young celebrities who now have rap sheets because they weren’t strong enough to resist the temptations of fame, it’s about the way our justice system works — or doesn’t work. Crooked politicians get pardoned, rock stars with half a dozen priors get sent to cushy rehab facilities with in-and-out privileges, while others, depending on their ethnicity and level of celebrity, often do time for the same offenses.
But this isn’t about race. I’m sure there are some poor kids of all hues who have “real problems,” too, but get no love when it comes to their sentencing. It’s as if the powers-that-be have repeatedly determined that no good can come of sending rich, marginally talented celebrities to jail — even if they’re caught on tape.
Perhaps the system chooses to let most celebrities slide because no one really wants to be bothered. After all, they have special needs. They have to be separated from the common folk; they tend to be claustrophobic, and most prisons don’t offer Zone Diet entrees in the cafeteria. And then there’s the problem of trying to control the pesky men and women representing the Fourth Estate. What a pain. That’s way too much drama for correctional officers making just above minimum wage.
I suppose it must make more sense to put lower-income people who have committed lesser crimes on lockdown, because they can just be thrown in with the rest of the general criminals who are chilling on the taxpayer’s dime.
I’m trying really hard to understand this logic. Truly. But it’s even more difficult to digest because Lohan’s blotter just keeps rolling through my head like those electronic scrolls in Times Square.
May 26, 2007: Actress Lindsay Lohan, 20, was stopped on suspicion of DUI after crashing her car into a curb in Beverly Hills and then running from the scene. Lohan was in possession of .04 grams of cocaine. Film on TMZ.
July 24, 2007: Actress Lindsay Lohan, 21, was stopped on suspicion of DUI in Santa Monica days after leaving rehab. Not only was she allegedly drunk, but several reports claim that a small amount of cocaine (.02 grams) was found in her pants pocket — not enough for the felony charges to stick. Additionally, she endangered the lives of her three passengers and random people in the area by speeding down Santa Monica’s lovely zen-paved residential streets reportedly in pursuit of her former assistant’s mother. Then she purportedly told police that the pants weren’t hers and that and that the “black kid” was the one driving.
The black kid is reportedly now . I hope he gets paid.
I also hope that this is the last time I’ll have to write about Lohan and her propensity for running afoul of the law. I’d really love it if the next time I had reason to write about her it would be because I was praising or panning one of her movies. I’d like to think that she was put on this Earth to entertain on the big and small screens. Instead, we’ve become more accustomed to seeing her soap opera-ish life being played out on the pages of tabloid publications and Web sites.
That’s one role she should have turned down. The pay is awful and there’s no real job security — especially if you stay in rehab and get well. Out of sight, no TMZ.
Let’s hope Lohan recognizes that God has smiled upon her and blessed her with yet another chance to get it right. Let’s hope that this time she has effectively dealt with her demons and can be that shining example of success that her fans want and need her to be — that I need her to be.
If she doesn’t get it right this time, we’re both going to need a lot of help. All of this had made me a little crazy, too.
And right now, only one of us can afford an extended stay in rehab. I’m not that lucky.
Miki Turner is an entertainment columnist for MSNBC.com. She welcomes your comments at