Lindsay Lohan Heads to Jail

The troubled actress, who got a punch in the face for her 24th birthday, might not look like a good bet now—her upcoming projects include a reality show and cheaper leggings line. But Rebecca Dana says Lohan could surprise us.

07.05.10 10:39 PM ET

The troubled actress, who was sentenced to 90 days in jail Tuesday for violation of her probation in failing to show up for alcohol education classes stemming from a 2007 DUI charge, might not look like a good bet now—her upcoming projects include a reality show and cheaper leggings line. But Rebecca Dana says Lohan could surprise us.

Last Thursday night, Lindsay Lohan got punched in the face at her own birthday party, at a Los Angeles nightclub called Voyeur.

On the bright side, Lohan, now 24, lived to see her birthday.

Click the Image to View Our Gallery of The Rise and Fall of Lindsey Lohan

That hasn’t always felt like such a guarantee in the last year, when the troubled starlet, who had a court hearing today related to a 2007 DUI charge, seems to have reached a new low on a weekly basis. When she wasn’t in court, she was on the lam, in Cannes, lounging next to a large plate of what certainly looked like cocaine. Or she was strolling through L.A. doused in some other mysterious white powder. Or she was revealing her hoarding tendencies, or she was stealing more clothes to hoard, or she was designing grotesque couture pasties under the banner of once great fashion house Ungaro. Or, most likely, she was on Twitter, usually around 2 a.m., making no discernible sense.

Since Lohan’s adorable starring role in 1997’s Parent Trap remake, the freckled pipsqueak has grown up and fallen apart before our eyes, as swiftly and dramatically as any child star in modern memory. It’s been hard not to worry about her over the years: so pretty, so much talent, such a staggering capacity for self-destruction. She’s just so cute, even now, stumbling to and from nightclubs. (Or are they court appearances? She seems to dress indistinguishably for the two.)

Of course, we worry in part because we are all complicit in La Lohan’s demise. We may shake our heads sadly at her bad decisions, but then we send the paparazzi right back out to hound her more, to photograph her Sapphic affair with Samantha Ronson and to chase her car off the road. As long as Lohan carries Britney Spears’ torch of personal doom—and before she hands it off for good to Taylor Momsen—her suffering will be in our hands, her white powder on our feet.

“At 24, you have just the first chapter of the first act, you know? I think that we’ll see good things from her still,” said the photographer Patrick McMullan.

“Is it too late for Lindsay Lohan?” the headlines read this weekend, after news broke that she would be hauled into court yet again, this time related to a disputed bill at Los Angeles boutique Tough as Nails. According to a lawsuit, Lohan has paid only $180 of the more than $17,000 she owes.

Is it really too late for Lohan? Hell no. Maybe it was two years ago, when headlines about her running off without paying, careening around drunk in and out of moving vehicles, and preening next to mirrors of blow seemed like new news. Now it might be just the right time for Lindsay Lohan. If terrible parenting and an alcohol problem that would fell a linebacker haven’t brought her down yet, maybe nothing will. Maybe she’s the Keith Richards of Hollywood’s under-25 set. Maybe she’ll outlive us all.

For the last two months, the talented actress, who hasn’t had a film see the big screen in years, has been traipsing around in a court-ordered SCRAM anklet, meant to scare her straight. Of course, it hasn’t worked. Lohan is still out raging every night, including one evening when the bracelet went off after a partygoer spilled booze on her after the MTV Movie Awards (or so she told the judge). In her spare time, she has focused on other vices—hair dye, “tea.” And as soon as that thing comes off, they better clear a path to the bar at Voyeur.

It may not be possible to scare Lohan straight, but it is possible she’ll veer wildly around until she winds up back at success.

“What is she, 24?” said the photographer Patrick McMullan. “God, I mean, so many people when they were that age, they were kooks. People saying that her career is over is just ridiculous. At 24, you have just the first chapter of the first act, you know? I think that we’ll see good things from her still.”

“I think she is going to survive,” said the writer Michael Musto. “I think she’s not going to become Anna Nicole [Smith]. I think she has a lot more life ahead of her. Hollywood and all of humankind love nothing more than a comeback. The people who are cheering her demise will be applauding when she rises like a phoenix and gets a sitcom.”

Right now, Lohan’s career prospects aren’t terribly promising. She’s signed up to appear in a new reality-TV show that will follow her terrible mother, Dina, and her siblings throughout whatever it is they do with their lives. She also will play adult film star Linda Lovelace in a new movie that has yet to start shooting.

Her clothing line 6126, which sells leggings and a few other questionable pieces, will debut a new collection shortly, and Lohan has been contemplating posing nude in the promotional materials. Items from the line, named after Marilyn Monroe’s birthday, retail for between $200 and $800. In a sad, if self-aware, development, Lohan is putting out a significantly cheaper line as well, called 7286: her birthday.

But who knows? This is Hollywood, and Lohan is ripe for a comeback. With a little luck and a little lenience from the judicial system, 7286 might just turn around and punch us all in the face.