Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Marsha N. Revel struck a remarkable blow for justice on Tuesday, sentencing Lindsay Lohan to 90 days in jail after repeatedly violating her probation, and another 90 days in rehab. Which means that at long last, even with the high likelihood that she won’t serve even a third of this sentence, Lohan has been shown in no uncertain terms that actions have consequences.
I feel overwhelmingly like my grandfather in saying that (though if I were really channeling him I’d be using some choicer, more colorful words). And admittedly, there’s a part of me that loves nothing more than stickin’ it to the man — but that usually just involves getting away with parking illegally.
But in this case, there’s no question that this is the right call, and it’s more than refreshing to see that star power doesn’t necessarily buy someone’s way out of a scrape. And Lohan’s reaction, surely fueled by the fact that she’s a young woman who’s scared of what she’s about to face, also betrayed someone who’s genuinely out of touch with what it means to take responsibility for themselves.
“As far as I knew I was in compliance with my programs,” Lohan said, fighting back tears.
“I wasn’t trying to get special treatment,” she added. “I have to provide for myself. I have to work. Having said that, I did everything to balance my jobs and showing up. I’m not taking this as a joke. It’s my life. It’s my career. … I take responsibility for my actions. I’ve tried to do the best I can. It’s been such a long haul. … I don’t want you to think that I don’t respect you.”
Now, in what universe does “jetting off to the Cannes film festival to party and allegedly suck face with your former co-star’s boyfriend, only to say you were unable to be back in L.A. for your court-mandated alcohol education classes because your passport was supposedly stolen” equal being in compliance with a program or taking their probation seriously, I’m not sure.
It wouldn’t hurt Lohan — or her mother or father, for that matter — to stop for a second and realize that what we’re talking about here is breaking the terms of a probation. For driving while under the influence. These aren’t just simple rites of passage; somebody could’ve gotten killed. And while everyone’s done something — generally a lot of somethings — that they shouldn’t have or wish they hadn’t done, most people don’t have all of the advantages or opportunities to straighten up, much less buy themselves a spot in a nice rehab.
It’s not that I don’t feel sorry for Lohan — on some level I do. I think it’s got to be an awful thing to be the mealticket for two monumentally irresponsible parents who never hesitate to violate your privacy to get a little limelight for themselves. It has to be terrible to grow up in an unforgiving spotlight at doesn’t allow you to make your mistakes in private. And it surely has to suck to go from being a genuinely promising kid to being a punchline by 24.
But if Lindsay Lohan is smart, or at least manages to use the 90 days of rehab, if not the 90-day jail sentence, to get a little perspective, she can make an amazing comeback. Look at what jailtime did for Robert Downey Jr. — not that it’s fair to compare her to one of the more divinely gifted actors of his generation, but at least it straightened him out. And look at him now — he’s freakin’ Iron Man, for heaven’s sake. Look at what Drew Barrymore has accomplished after her harrowing childhood. Look at what Carrie Fisher, for all of her demons, has accomplished. Any one of them could’ve gone down the tubes. But for each of them, there was at least one wake-up call. Here’s hoping this is Lohan’s.
And if not, here’s hoping that at least she doesn’t drive through my neighborhood.