Reprint from October 21, 2008


LINCOLN, Neb., Oct. 21…Red faced officials were scrambling today to explain why they denied Lindsay Lohan shelter under Nebraska’s Safe Haven Law.

“We’ve changed the requirements” said an official from the Department of Health and Human Services “She may be needy, but she’s no longer eligible.”

Lohan’s mother, Dina, brought her to Creighton University Medical Center in a Hummer Stretch yesterday and applied to have her declared a ward of the state. Social workers claiming patient privilege would not reveal the reason for the application, but the Safe Haven Law offers refuge to children whose parents can no longer cope with them for economic, social or medical reasons.

“I think her mom has had it,” a social worker who would not give her name confided.

Nebraska was the last of 50 states to adopt the Safe Haven law, which essentially allows parents to abandon their children without fear of prosecution. While most other states will only accept children up to the age of one year the Nebraska legislators, in an excess of altruism, removed all age limits.

“We wanted to offer the service to all hard-pressed parents and needy children,” says an official, then adds with a rueful smile, “but we had no idea how desperate so many people were.”

Within days of the law’s passage local hospitals were overwhelmed by parents from Nebraska and neighboring states seeking to place their children.

“We had a widower come in with his nine children and say he couldn’t afford to take care of them,” a social worker said. “Grandparents who couldn’t raise unruly teenagers. Children with social and emotional issues. Parents who said they couldn’t get treatment for their disturbed children and were now throwing up their hands.”

Ages ranged from 3 to 17, she said. But so far, Lohan, at 21, is the oldest they’ve seen.

“She’s not even a minor,” a state official said. “It’s a sad case, but we can’t help.”

Lohan, a former child star, has had many highly publicized brushes with the police. She has been arrested several times for drunk driving and possession of cocaine. Once she was charged with bringing a “controlled substance into a police facility,” which could have resulted in serious jail time. But the judge let her off with a one day sentence and community service.

Lohan has been in and out of detox over the last few years. “It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs,” she said, before entering Cirque Lodge Treatment Center in Sundance for her third attempt at rehabilitation.

Yesterday, Lohan’s mother, Dina, who is also her manager, hurried out of the hospital into the Hummer and drove back to the airport without speaking to the horde of reporters and paparazzi who had appeared minutes after her arrival.

Reporters peeking through a window saw Lohan sitting alone on a bench in the waiting room. They shouted questions, but she shook her head and turned away.

Lohan was born in New York City in 1986 and raised in Merrick, L.I. Her parents signed her with the Ford Model Agency at the age of three. Her Wikipedia entry states that “at first she found little work as a model, but persisted and eventually appeared in more than 100 print ads for companies like Toys ‘R’ Us.” She later modeled for Calvin Klein and Abercrombie and Fitch.

Lohan’s ambitious parents next steered her to television work. Again, after a few blown auditions she was hired for a Duncan Hines commercial and went on to do 60 more commercials, including a famous Jell-O spot with Bill Cosby.

From then on she never stopped working. In 1996 she won the role of Alexandra “Alli” Fowler on the soap opera Another World where, according to Filmbug UK ” she delivered more dialogue than any other 10 year old in daytime serials.”

“The girl was a workhorse,” says talent manager Fletch Pedlar. “She made a lot of money for the studios her parents, her agents, her lawyers, but nothing for herself.”

Between 1998 and and 2008 Lohan racked up 16 feature film credits, among them Disney hits The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday and Herbie Fully Loaded, winning an MTV award for Breakthrough Female Performance and a Teen Choice award for Breakout Movie Star. She became a full-fledged star playing a sexy teenager in Mean Girls, for which she won a Critics Choice, a Blimp Award for best new actress, an MTV Award for best Female Performance and five more Teen Choice awards. She worked with Robert Altman (Prairie Home Companion), Jane Fonda (Georgia Rules), taking time out to make 15 TV appearances, hosting Saturday Night Live three times. She recorded three solo albums and six soundtracks.

“She was an ATM,” says Pedlar. “But she finally broke down…It’s Judy Garland all over again, but it happened a lot quicker in this 24 hour news cycle.”

Lohan’s partying took its toll. She became unreliable, holding up productions with lateness and absences. When she did show up she didn’t know her lines, looked haggard and couldn’t focus. She was publicly reproached by studio head James Robinson for her lateness and irresponsibility on the set of Georgia Rules, but seemed unwilling or unable to reform. After a few losers she hit bottom last year with I Know Who Killed Me, a dismal horror movie for which she won the Golden Raspberry as worse actress of the year.

She stayed in the headlines with her arrests and relentless clubbing. Even added a new wrinkle, proclaiming her love for Lesbian DJ Sam Ronson.

But Lohan’s notoriety did not translate into box office success.

“If they can read all about you on the Internet they won’t pay to see you in the movies,” said Pedlar.

Her behavior made it difficult for producers to get insurance on her, always the kiss of death for dissipating celebrities. A prominent executive was quoted in Entertainment Weekly as saying Lohan’s career was over. “Right now she’d have to pay a studio to get herself into a movie.” Publicist Michael Levine said she was “unemployable for the next 18 months.”

Many bloggers said this trip to the hospital was another publicity stunt, but Pedlar disagrees

“For the first time since she was three years old she isn’t making money for the army of parasites that had grown up around her,” Pedlar said. “She’s just a crazy, self-destructive kid who needs help.

“So they dumped her.”

Late yesterday afternoon, Nebraska authorities rewrote their Safe Haven Law. “We need to get back to the intent of the law…the protection of newborns in immediate danger of being harmed,” said Todd Landry, director of Health and Human Services.

At the hospital social workers called Dina Lohan and told her to come back and get her daughter. As night fell, the chill of the oncoming Great Plains winter could be felt in the air. A social worker threw a blanket over Lohan’s shivering shoulders. Then, sat on the bench with her waiting for her mom to come.


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