Published February 10, 2011
There isn’t a play from the celebrity screw-up playbook that Lindsay Lohan hasn’t borrowed over the past three years.
Does this make Lohan the most screwed up celebrity of all?
Charged in a California court Wednesday for stealing a $2,500 necklace, the former child star has acquired a distinct whiff of Winona, whose 2001 grand theft conviction for stealing designer clothes from a Saks Fifth Avenue department store took her from the starting lineup to the sidelines of fame for about a decade.
“Both girls played the victimized leading lady in cult teen dramas, ‘Mean Girls’ and ‘The Heathers’ and now both have victimized others with their history of stealing,” celebrity blogger Micah Jesse told Fox411. “Winona has been able to avoid constant reminders of her wrongdoings by staying quiet. Maybe now Lindsay will follow her example.”
This isn’t Lohan’s first brush with alleged thievery. She has previously been accused of swiping an $11,000 mink coat from a New York nightclub and stealing thousands of dollars of jewelry during a house party.
A celebrity completely losing control over their lives in the public eye is nothing new, of course. Lohan shares with Britney Spears the narrative of a rising young star who has spiraled out of control, due in part to her unstable family life.
“Like Britney, Lindsay was pushed into the business at a very young age by an overbearing family whose main concern was for themselves and making money,” says “Cult of Celebrity” author Cooper Lawrence. “Much of the underpinnings from their drug using is presumably caused by the same childhood issues. Family turned a blind eye and denied any problems because the health of their child was not as important as the health of their bank account.”
Lawrence added that Lohan and Spears’ bizarre behavior, court appearances -- Lohan has had no fewer than five mug shots taken before her 25th birthday -- and strange and short-lived relationships are also strikingly similar.
Lohan shares with Sheen a history of drug abuse, arrest and forced rehab. Her recent stint at the Betty Ford Center seems to have sobered Lohan up, but it certainly didn’t seem to improve her sober judgment.
“Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan both went to the same 12-step meeting in Los Angeles, and they are very in sync when it comes to their abusive behaviors,” Hollywood publicist and image consultant Michael Sands told Fox411. “At this point Lindsay needs to hit her bottom. Everyone is trying to keep her from going to jail, but frankly, that is the safest place she can be, or like Sheen, she is going to do this all over again.”
The one strategy Lohan has yet to embrace is a Hail Mary, or as it’s called in celebrity screw-up circles, “The Robert Downey Jr.”
After Downey Jr. hit rock bottom in 2001 following the last of many court-ordered drug treatment programs and several stints in prison, he relied on independent film roles to prove to the industry that he could work again. He then settled down with his now wife, producer Susan Levin, and has stayed out of the tabloids.
Downey Jr. put in his time, paid his debt to society and to his public. He took his time coming back, and has now clawed his onto the A-list with his blockbuster franchise “Iron Man.” Lindsay Lohan is just 24 years old. Downey Jr. was well past his third decade when he finished being a bad boy. There is no reason that Lohan can’t employ the Downey Jr.
“Someone like Lindsay Lohan first needs to sincerely want to make a comeback, then sincerely take steps similar to the one Downey took en route to his own renaissance,” Movieline editor S.T. VanAirsdale told Fox411.
One step at a time.