Lindsay Lohan says she's glad theft case resolved
LOS ANGELES — A lawyer entered a no contest plea Wednesday for Lindsay Lohan in the theft of a necklace, setting the stage for a summer of confinement, counseling and community service.
Defense attorney Shawn Holley made the plea for the actress, who did not appear in court in the misdemeanor case involving a $2,500 necklace taken from an upscale shop in the Venice area of Los Angeles.
Lohan, 24, did not acknowledge guilt through the plea, but the court will log the case as a conviction.
She said later in the day in a written statement that she was glad to put the case behind her and has already started her 300 hours of community service at a shelter for women.
"I hope to be able to fulfill my obligation without any press attention," Lohan said. "I think the media spotlight should be on issues such as homelessness and domestic violence instead of on me."
Lohan did not have to attend the hearing because she was facing a misdemeanor charge.
Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner ordered Lohan to serve a 120-day jail sentence and remain on probation in a 2007 drunken driving case while she completes a total of 480 hours of community service and undergoes psychological counseling.
Along with the women's shelter, she will do 120 hours of community service at the coroner's office, with the remainder to be decided.
The judge ordered the additional counseling after reviewing a probation report that showed Lohan tested positive for alcohol in February, a little more than a month after she was released from rehab.
The report also said authorities found evidence the actress had been drinking in December while receiving treatment at the Betty Ford Center.
Lohan had been sent to Betty Ford for three months of treatment last year after failing a drug screen. The report indicated she had tested positive for cocaine and amphetamines during the court-mandated drug test in September.
A rehab worker at the center accused Lohan of pushing her during a confrontation over curfew in December. Lohan was not charged in the case, but police investigated claims she and some companions from rehab were drinking.
"The police report also noted that interviews with restaurant employees, hotel employees, and nightclub employees support the statements that (Lohan) drank alcohol on the night of the disturbance," the probation report states.
Holley did not return an email message seeking comment on the probation report.
A probation officer stated in the report that despite the tests, Lohan appeared to be making progress with her treatment and should receive continued substance abuse counseling.
Sautner disagreed with the recommendation Wednesday, saying she didn't think Lohan had a substance abuse problem.
"She has other problems, which she self-medicates," the judge said.
In addition to counseling, community service and jail sentence, Lohan will have to complete an anti-shoplifting class.
The "Mean Girls" star was expected to serve only a fraction of the jail time due to jail overcrowding. She might be eligible for house arrest, but that decision won't be made until Lohan reports for jail on or before June 17.
If she is given house arrest, the judge said she cannot work on her community service at the same time.
"She is neither requesting nor receiving special treatment," Holley said after the hearing.
Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore agreed, saying Lohan has been treated the same as other nonviolent offenders.
Lohan has been cast to play the wife of John Gotti Jr. in a biopic of the infamous mob family titled "Gotti: Three Generations." The film is scheduled to film later this year in New York, and several factors could keep Lohan's case from interfering with work on the film.
Lohan's lack of a serious criminal record, and the misdemeanor status of her other cases, have resulted in three jails stints that ranged from 84 minutes to a few hours.
Her longest stay was 14 days after another judge sentenced her to three months in jail. The reduced time behind bars was due to jail overcrowding and state-mandated credits for time-served.
Lohan was released after a few hours on April 22 because her attorney indicated she would appeal the four-month jail sentence for her probation violation. She dropped the appeal as part of Wednesday's plea.
The theft of the necklace came roughly three weeks after Lohan was released from Betty Ford, and while she was still on probation for the drunken driving case.