Everyone loves a redemption story, so why can't Lindsay Lohan catch a break?
Cast your memory back to 2004: Lindsay Lohan was freeing herself from the rigours of child stardom, on the brink of adult success and, without question, possessed undeniable talent.
But, addiction, myriad DUIs and the lure of celebrity culture would prove too much for Lohan, who, at 32, has been to rehab six times and is responsible for a number of failed comebacks.
Her errs are well-documented and in the early noughties, her antics all but kept TMZ in business. She is now a running joke, a sad Hollywood punchline and perhaps, at its saddest, an easy target. So why is it, in the most forgiving industry in the world that Lindsay Lohan can’t catch a break?
You could argue its rooted in sexism: after all, Robert Downey Jr.’s 2001 comeback was a risk for producers of Ally McBeal and he is now one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood; Mel Gibson’s racist, sexist and violent meltdown in 2010 has been all but wiped from public memory and Johnny Depp had little to do on his redemption tour after he was accused of domestic violence by ex-wife Amber Heard in 2016.
In comparison, it seems that Lindsay's biggest victim has always been herself. It's just as plausible to say that frankly she doesn’t deserve a redemption tour, this, despite the fact that most of her fans, who have grown with her, are still rooting for her. 2014 was supposed to be the big Lohan-comeback, she returned to the spotlight under the encouragement and mentorship of Oprah and her eponymous docu-series, meant to shed light on the 'real' her, instead was an eight-episode record of the crew trying to get her to agree to film a reality show instead of providing actual content.
She was given the golden ticket and she ripped it up then lit it on fire.
The next number of years were just as upsetting as much of her early life had been. Instead of an absent and sometimes violent father and forceful stage mother, there was an an abusive relationship with her Russian ex-fiancé Egor Tarabasov. Disturbing pictures emerged of them fighting on the beach in 2016 and a video circulating of her screaming for help at an apartment in London was genuinely upsetting to watch.
According to Lohan, this was the tipping point. Soon after, she up and moved to Dubai, a random spot to settle down in, but one that would prove to be the best fit for her - privacy laws there mean she can't be followed by paparazzi, which was one of the biggest causes of stress for her.
This year, she was, and is, finally ready to dip her toe back in. Her last major film was five years ago and save for bit parts in movies and television, much of the attention around her has been around her personal life fuelled by her social media activity.
In September, she met a Syrian refugee family who were homeless, living on the streets of Moscow, and accused them of trafficking children, via an Instagram Live.
This time around the the focus is on her latest venture, this time, launching a new type of reality show Lohan’s Beach House, in the vein of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump’s Vanderpump Rules. Lohan is the “boss bitch” and her staff are the story. It’s the smartest thing she has done in years.
A New York Times profile earlier this year shed insight into life for Lindsay now that she’s no longer an ‘it’ girl and instead, a cautionary tale. It was nearly all positive and gave honest insight into her day-to-day life, but still, old habits die hard and signs of the old Lohan were there. She had originally agreed to pose for corresponding pictures the next day, until she didn't.
“Ms. Lohan would have had her hair and makeup done, “and we’ll make something work,” Nichola said,” the article reads.
“But the next day, as reporter and photographer waited under the sun dappling the stained wooden deck through the sand-colored canopy, Nichola delivered some news: There would be no photo shoot unless Ms. Lohan, who was currently in Athens anyway, was paid for it.
“‘She shoots for magazines like W and likes to do fashion,” Nichola said. “We can give you exclusive photos, but she only does paid shoots. And if you want to have that discussion, you can, and maybe she’ll consider it.’ (The New York Times does not pay photo or interview subjects.)”
It's clear the writer was taken with her and instead of jumping on her flaws, defended her as a savvy businesswoman. That was just five months ago and now, Lohan covers Paper magazine’s digital ‘Break the Internet’ edition, taking on the role of dark-sided and seductive Disney princesses. It’s...interesting.
But it was noted - at the request of her PR - that she arrived on time for that photoshoot. Perhaps, things will be different this time around?
Who knows. Lohan was quick to point out that she is longer the party girl, pictured falling out of clubs - now, she just owns one.
"I would love to know why I get constantly clobbered in the press," she said. "I could do 99 things right and one thing wrong, but it's that one thing that will be focused on. Behind the scenes I do what I can to be the best version of me, which never gets mentioned. I am also human. I make mistakes. That's all that seems to get reported."
"There's always going to be things that have happened," she said, "and things people have said in the past that you can't control. But the past is in the past."
It's a convincing turnaround, but we're still afraid to hold our breath.