Winfrey reserved her hardest line of questioning for Lohan’s family life, asking the actress if she ever felt exploited by her parents. Exhibit A: The talk-show host cited a much publicized 2012 blowout in which Lohan’s father, Michael, recorded Lohan calling him, hysterically accusing mother Dina of having taken cocaine and misappropriating a $40,000 loan. Michael Lohan released the recording to the tabloid press, causing a serious family fracture.
Appearing to fight back tears on “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” Lindsay denied that her mother had taken the drug during their argument -- “I said a lot of things that were not true” -- and disputed the idea that her parents used her for any personal gain.
“I hate what a bad rap people give my parents because they’re just parents, at the end of the day, trying to stand up for their daughter and themselves,” Lohan said.
Sunday night’s broadcast arrived as an appetizer course for another LiLo-centric, OWN-branded extravaganza: an eight-part docu-series focusing on, the network said, Lohan’s “struggles, her career, and her plans for the future.” The series, for which the struggling star will earn a reported $2-million payday, is scheduled to air next year.
On that as-yet-untitled show, audiences will also presumably be able to gauge Lohan’s newfound commitment to sobriety and whether she’s been able to kick the addiction to chaos that has fostered her reputation as, in her words, “this celebrity who’s in trouble all the time.”
So far, the Oprah connection seems to be making its positive influence felt on Hollywood’s foremost Girl Interrupted. As Sunday’s interview was winding down -- after Lohan pledged her renewed commitment to the craft of acting, after she had talked up her new head-space and acknowledged how lucky she is to have another crack at returning to entertainment-industry good graces through promotional appearances such as “Oprah’s Next Chapter” -- Winfrey buttonholed the actress about her upcoming trip to Europe. Lohan described it as a meditation-and-yoga retreat with her younger brother; the TV host characterized it as a journey to a party playground.
Pointing out the fragile nature of the recovery process and Lohan’s rehab release only four days earlier, Winfrey ultimately made her point by asking a simple question: “Is that the best decision for you at this time?”
Two days after the interview, a title card informed viewers, Lohan canceled her trip to Europe.
“It’s a process off growing up and recognizing and being just so tired and exhausted by the chaos,” Lohan said in what could be easily construed as her new mission statement Sunday. “I have had no right in my past to complain about being followed by cameras and people making up stories. But there’s something to be said about me moving forward.”
[For the record, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19: A previous version of this post implied that Lohan’s police record includes carjacking. She has never been arrested on suspicion of that crime.]