Lindsay Lohan doesn’t want me revealing this, but the truth is she risked arrest not because she’s some brat who was too busy in Cannes, but because she’s brave and loyal to her friends, including me -- her limo driver.
I was all set to take her to court on time, but her lawyer canceled the booking.
“They say if I drive up to the courthouse in a stretch limo, it’ll make a bad impression,” Lindsay said when she called long-distance last week. “It’s just not done.”
“Well, how the hell are you supposed to get there? Helicopter?” I asked.
“A regular car,” she said.
“A w-what --?”
“Well, it can be an Escalade or a Lexus RX or a Navigator … or probably even a dumb old Bronco … It just can’t be a stretch limo. My lawyer said it’ll make a bad impression. Like I’m spoiled. Or I can’t be bothered…”
“How about we go in a regular-sized Town Car?” I said, thinking quickly, which is one of those skills required to drive around the world’s most creative artists in the world’s most demanding traffic conditions.
“You’re sweet, Stretch,” she said. “But no. I don’t have to drive myself, but it can’t be a limo driver.”
“That sounds pretty discriminatory against limo drivers to me,” I said.
That’s when she broke down. I could hear her sobbing, although maybe it was just the notoriously bad cell reception from the South of France.
Then she told me she wasn’t getting on her return flight from Cannes.
“I’ll tell them I lost my passport and couldn’t get back into the country,” she said.
“Nobody’ll believe that,” I said.
I told Lindsay that there are freedoms in America, and that’s what our Founding Fathers fought for – the right to show up in court in whatever vehicle you choose. And that you are innocent until proven guilty, even if you arrive in a limo.
Lindsay said she’d just have to accept the consequences.
I don’t see why it is that we’re a lot closer to accepting gay marriage or pot smoking in this country than we are someone driving up to a courthouse in a stretch limo.
I felt helpless. I told Lindsay we’d look back and laugh about this at 3 a.m. some morning on Sunset Boulevard outside Trousdale, if she was conscious.
“Until then, Lindsay, however you drive to court,” I told her before we hung up, “for God’s sake, make sure the windows are tinted.”