The atrocious behavior of Lindsay Lohan's parents is just one reason why the 21-year-old actress is in so much trouble now. That's what those who are really close to Lindsay and now fear for her life are telling me.
Between avaricious Michael Lohan's many media appearances Tuesday — which no doubt carried remuneration — and Dina Lohan's absence from her daughter's crisis, we can tell more about what happened to this girl than anything else.
But now my sources — who are impeccable on this matter — are scared for Lindsay.
"Dina didn't fly right out to see her yesterday when she got the news that Lindsay had been arrested again," my source said. "It's unbelievable. And her father's been on TV all day."
In the meantime, Lindsay spent her post-arrest hours with attorney Blair Berk and her assistant.
What happens next? Nothing good, that's for sure. Lohan, my sources conclude, is less likely to withstand a jail stint than Paris Hilton.
"She hates being alone — she can't do it," an observer said.
My sources fear for Lindsay's life, and surmise that, in some way, she is trying to kill herself.
The main difference between Lindsay and Paris: The latter actually has a strong family structure to lean on. Lindsay has nothing — nobody except people she pays.
"She's in some kind of pain that doesn't stop," my source said. "She's done drugs with all kinds of older movie stars, but they can stop when they want. She can't."
The fact is, my source said, Oscar-winners and nominees have guided Lohan down a pretty scary path not realizing that they were older, wiser and more in control than she.
It's hard to differentiate the craziness on TV talk shows — and Larry King, don't ask about his guests last night — from the Lindsay I've known for several years.
On Tuesday, a lot of people asked me: Is her career over? I think it's more important to wonder: Will her life be over?
Someone, somewhere has got to help prevent this girl from doing something tragic.
Here's the thing about Barack Obama, who made an unusual whistle stop in New York Tuesday afternoon at the Time Warner Center. He's very engaging and earnest. You can't not like him. And, of course, Oprah Winfrey likes him, and that means a lot.
He certainly has the world's attention right now, and it's far more important things than playing soccer or driving without a license.
Our meeting took place because the soft-spoken Illinois senator and Democratic candidate for president was the guest of honor at Time Warner's Conversations on the Circle, a semi-regular event where notable types are grilled in front of a mostly sympathetic crowd.
Time Warner's Dick Parsons, the man in charge of the whole place, did the honors in front of a crowd of about 250 including Harry Belafonte; Jon Bon Jovi; Edie Falco; Mariska Hargitay and hubby actor Peter Hermann; Joy Behar and with her boyfriend, Steve; actor Steve Buscemi with wife, Jo; Pink Floyd's Roger Waters with his girlfriend, Laurie Durning; Foreigner's Mick Jones; actor Geoffrey Wright; "Capote" screenwriter Bennett Miller; Darrell Hammond of "Saturday Night Live" and hip-hop mogul Damon Dash and his wife, designer Rachel Roy.
And yes, just in case you're getting nervous, there were some serious types there, too, like: former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo; New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly; Charlie Rose; CBS' Harry Smith; Hearst's Gayle King; ABC's Barbara Walters and Deborah Roberts; WNBC's veteran Gabe Pressman; Bryant Gumbel; Deborah Norville; Lally Weymouth; CNN's Soledad O'Brien and the now-resigned Paula Zahn; Parsons' second-in-command, Jeff Bewkes; Richard Plepler of HBO; folks from the New York Times, including Frank Rich; Newsweek's Johnnie Roberts and Jonathan Alter and the New Yorker's Ken Auletta, Rick Hertzberg and Jeffrey Toobin.
I ran into mega restaurant mogul Drew Nieporent, of Nobu and Tribeca Grill fame, and business guys Steve Rattner, Henry Kravis, Boykin Curry and Sony's Andy Lack.
The rules of the event were "off the record," but there were so many ink-stained wretches crawling about, who knows how long that will last. I can tell you that the best question was asked by Michael Kennedy, the esteemed New York attorney, about Obama's choice for vice president. And Barbara Walters, who dozed a bit during Parsons' serious inquisition, asked about terrorism.
None of the celebrities asked questions, but they were all happy to be there. Bon Jovi, who came with wife Dorothea, told me Al Gore was still his candidate but he was interested in hearing what Obama had to say.
I did like a pretty smooth answer Obama had about gun control policy: He's for it, of course, but doesn't want to disturb the "traditions" of those who aren't.
He said something to the effect that gun owners didn't appreciate Easterners "who drive Volvos and sip white wine" thinking they were crazy. He also said if you were against abortion, you weren't going to vote for him.
And even though this was an off-the-record event, I did ask Obama what he thought of all the attention he was getting in Hollywood. Guess what? He told me liked it.
"I've known David Geffen a long time, and George Clooney is a serious man," he said.
So, on to the next event, as the 2008 campaign looms in the distance.
Here's a little scoop for fans of "The Simpsons."
Albert Brooks, the great comedic actor and director, is one of the many stars who make a cameo in the film version that opens on Friday. Listed in the cast as "A. Brooks," the "Lost in America" star plays a character named Russ Cargill.
Tom Hanks, Minnie Driver, Joe Mantegna, Kelsey Grammer, Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, Erin Brockovich (the woman Julia Roberts played in the film) and Phil Rosenthal (creator of "Everyone Loves Raymond") also voice cameos.
I can't tell you much more because 20th Century FOX isn't screening the movie until five minutes before it's released. This is called marketing.