CELEBRITY SCALES: Lohan Cannes Not Win
Paparazzi photographs and red-carpet reports of Lindsay Lohan’s recent jaunt to the glamorous Cannes Film Festival in the South of France presented the image of a smug starlet, bouncing from one decadent yacht party to the next, without a care in the world. Unfortunately, back on U.S. soil, an unsympathetic Los Angeles judge had quite a different take on Lohan’s flagrant disregard for the law and endless, hard partying antics. After failing to report to a progress review hearing in an L.A. court, reportedly because a stolen passport kept her desperately stranded in the posh confines of the French Riviera, Judge Marsha Revel ordered an arrest warrant for Lohan and set her bail at $100,000. While Revel’s decision is an example of long overdue, celebrity justice for Lohan, it is still unclear whether authorities will actually apprehend the fallen actress upon her soon to be expected arrival in L.A.
If actually arrested and subsequently released on bail, Lohan will be under court orders to abstain from alcohol, be fitted with an alcohol-monitoring bracelet and be subject to random drug testing once a week. In handing down this demand, Judge Revel implied in court that Lohan’s continued tardiness and absences from important hearings could be due to drug use, stating emphatically that there was “reason to be concerned” about her personal welfare.
In contesting the issuance of the arrest warrant, Lohan’s attorney Shawn Chapman Holley claimed to the judge, “She filed a police report. She intended to fly back at the earliest possible time. I don’t know what else to tell you. She had reservations for a flight.” The court did not quite buy the stolen passport argument or any other sob story that Lohan’s attorney attempted to push. Judge Revel retorted, “There is no valid excuse [for Lohan not being here]. If she wanted to be here, she could’ve been here. She could’ve come two days early from Cannes. She has a history of not keeping scheduled appointments. She has to take this seriously. I’ve warned her before.”
Holley also contested that Lohan is in “substantial compliance” with her probation and that her client would return to court at the earliest possible date. According to Holley, Lohan’s absence from the mandatory hearing was simply due to a situation beyond her client’s control. What would be Lohan’s punishment if she is found to be in violation of her probation? Deputy District Attorney Danette Meyers, the prosecutor overseeing Lindsay Lohan’s case, stated she would seek a jail sentence of up to six months. Meyers also believes Lohan has been blatantly “snubbing the court” and therefore wants to see proof that she had indeed purchased flight tickets to make Thursday’s hearing.
Not all though is bad news for Lohan. Surprisingly, the actress received a positive report this month from her court-mandated alcohol education program. However, Judge Revel said Lindsay may still be in violation of her probation because she previously ordered the actress to attend the class at least “once a week without fail.” Lohan has clearly been violating this order on a consistent basis, just further demonstrating her obvious disregard for Judge Revel’s legal authority and position. Believe it or not, Judge Revel has advised Lohan previously to either shape up or be faced with severe consequences. At the actress’s last in-person progress review, Judge Revel sternly warned Lohan that she would face jail time if she continued to thumb her nose at the court. This is also the second time the judge has issued a warrant against the struggling actress. Hopefully, for Lohan’s sake, it will be the last.
Matt Semino is a New York attorney and legal analyst. He is a graduate of Columbia Law School , Cornell University and is a Fulbright Scholar.
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Contact Matt Semino at Matt@MattSemino.com