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September 8, 2008

You Don't Mess With the Lohan

After multiple car wrecks and trips to rehab, it was looking dire for Lindsay Lohan. But with a movie and an album in the works, plus a surprising new love, she's taken on another role: survivor.

lindsay lohan

Lounging in ribbed leggings from her new line, 6126 by Lindsay Lohan, and Pologeorgis hooded mink.

Photo Credit: Mark Abrahams

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Even in the stale quiet of a trailer at 9 a.m., Lindsay Lohan is compulsively watchable. There's the tough-chick look — the lush locks scalloping around her Ray-Ban aviators; the breathlessly parted lips; the faded jeans molded to her thighs and tiny butt, worn with tinfoil Lanvin flats. And there's the constant activity. If Lohan's not texting her manager, Jenni Muro, who's sitting four feet away, she's firing up a Parliament Light, carrying around an open laptop and downloading songs, or nipping into the trailer bedroom and changing clothes, for no apparent reason. For a brief while she'll wear a vintage concert tee. When I ask the name of the band on the faded shirt, Muro replies with a laugh, "Misplaced Childhood. Is that the ultimate answer?"

Lohan is almost too distracted to notice a stranger in her midst; when we meet, her handshake is limp, the fingers soft and pale as cigarettes. But while it's tempting to pathologize her nervous preoccupations, it's worth remembering that the girl, just 22, is trying to keep a lid on one full-on, nonstop mind-fuck of a life.


Consider: As we kill time watching TV in the trailer, waiting for Lohan to be called to the set of the upcoming indie Labor Pains, the morning hen-fest The View comes on. To Lohan's surprise, today's guests are her mother and sister, Dina and Ali Lohan.

Lindsay dumps a cigarette butt in a half-inch of brown liquid in a Styrofoam cup and takes a seat on the built-in couch opposite the TV, smiling to herself as they answer questions. "I've learned from my sister what to do and what not to do," says Ali, 14, a singer, whom Lindsay describes as "a really tough cookie." Regarding their new reality show, Living Lohan, Ali explains, "We're showing people who we really are and that we're not crazy people." ("Obviously, we're just a normal family living in suburbia," says Dina, unconvincingly.) For most young women, the spectacle would constitute a mortifying mash-up of the public and the private, but for Lindsay Lohan, it's just life. Her chief reaction to the show: "I wanted to pull Ali's hair down on the left side the whole time. It was bugging me!"

There's Red Bull in the fridge and a flesh-colored thong dangling from a hanger near the bathroom. Outside the trailer, a bulldog slurps from a water dish. His name is Cadillac, and he belongs to Samantha Ronson, the proto-scenester and DJ with whom Lohan is enmeshed, although she refuses to confirm no-brainer rumors that they are lovers. Lohan's anecdotes are studded with references to Ronson; noting a star tattoo on her hand, she says, "Samantha has a bunch of stars, so I got that. And she got this" — indicating a little heart. When she tells me, with a giggle, that she's looking to buy a house "with someone," it just seems obvious who that someone is. But when I ask Lohan specifically about the relationship, she says, "Um, people can think what they want. I'm really happy, and that's all that matters." As for the newspaper item claiming she yelled at Ashley Olsen to "get your 15-year-old Full House ass away from my girlfriend" when she saw Olsen talking to Ronson at a club last April, Lohan retorts, "No! No. I never said anything like that. I would never talk like that. I mean, get me angry enough and I'm sure I'll have something to say, but I didn't say that."

With three stints in rehab behind her (and the threat of jail, if she violates her probation), Lohan has had a relatively peaceful time of it in recent months, leading me to suggest that Ronson's a good influence. "She's a great person," Lohan says. "And she's a great influence on people around her. But I think that anything that's changed in my life is because of me. I've gone through it and I've had to deal with it and I've made the decision to move forward. So, yeah, she's a great person," Lohan concludes of Ronson, who'll come loping across the parking lot to the trailer later on wearing her signature porkpie hat, plus a T-shirt, jeans, and cinder-block-size red trainers, emphatically unlaced.

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