Her name is Lindsay and she is a chaos addict.
That was the No. 1 takeaway from Lindsay Lohan’s amply hyped interview with Oprah Winfrey, a “television event” broadcast on the talk show doyenne’s Oprah Winfrey Network program “Oprah’s Next Chapter” in back-to-back airings Sunday night.
Over the course of their revealing yet somehow bloodless one-hour conversation -- taped just four days after Lohan was released from three months of court-mandated rehab at the Cliffside Malibu clinic -- Hollywood’s reigning celebrity train wreck made repeated reference to the “chaos” that has governed her life: her “chaotic” upbringing, her “uncontrollable” family life and the “whirlwind of garbage” Lohan created for herself by courting high drama seemingly at every turn.
Asked by Winfrey about her 2010 jail sentence for probation violations, Lohan owned up to her chaos addiction and explained that her trip behind bars came as something of a relief.
“At that point, being in my addiction and having all the chaos around me that I was so comfortable with, I somewhere inside knew and kind of wanted to go to jail,” Lohan said. “That was subconsciously being put out there by my actions -- or lack thereof.”
Later, asked point-blank by Winfrey, “Do you think you are or were addicted to chaos?” Lohan clarified her position.
“It was a comfortable chaos for me,” she said. “So what was chaotic to some other people from the outside looking in was normal.”
Appearing solemn -- demure in a tangerine-colored dress, hair pulled back in a pony-tail -- facing some difficult questions by the queen of TV chat (whose new movie drama, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” incidentally, claimed the top spot at the box office this weekend), LiLo’s post-rehab exit interview arrived as a kind of inevitable outcome.
That is, it was the final come-clean for a repeat celebrity offender whose rap sheet includes cocaine possession and shoplifting as well as numerous literal run-ins with paparazzi (resulting in crumpled fenders and injured wrists and legs), multiple drunk-driving convictions, jail stints and at least six stays in rehab.
In perhaps the most telling sign of her party-hearty infamy, Lohan remains on a short list of twentysomething actresses for whom major news organizations maintain pre-written obituaries.
But on Sunday, Lohan presented a competing version of herself: a clear-eyed, self-acknowledged addict whose recent spiritual awakening goes hand in hand with a newfound ability to honestly confront her shortcomings as her “own worst enemy.”
Looking healthier than she appears in “The Canyons,” the micro-budget indie thriller in which she stars and that was released to some positive reviews earlier this month, Lohan accepted responsibility for her messy private life -- for being known “as an adjective and verb for bad behavior and child star gone wrong,” as Winfrey put it -- while attempting to put that reputation behind her.
“I hate that title,” said Lohan, 27. “That’s not what I ever aspired to be.”
For the first time, the actress addressed specific chemical issues. She described becoming dependent on Adderall, a prescription stimulant she said began taking after being diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder. “I was convinced it grounded me,” she said.
Moreover, the Long Island, N.Y. native detailed how her abuse of the sleep aid Ambien resulted in her first trip to rehab in 2007. And despite having claimed to have taken cocaine only “four or five” times in a May interview with Piers Morgan on CNN -- before entering her most recent rehab stay -- Lohan told Winfrey she had taken cocaine “10 to 15” times, mainly because it provided stamina for what she described as her more over-riding addiction: alcohol.
“It allowed me to drink more,” Lohan said. “That’s why I did it. It was a party thing.”
Even while Winfrey held Lohan’s feet to the fire about her addictions, the talk-show host allowed her ample opportunity to contextualize her wild behavior with a textbook “too much too soon” defense. Winfrey noted that by age 18, the “Mean Girls” star was a burgeoning ingenue earning $7 million per movie while living in Los Angeles without parental supervision.
Bad news, right? In turn, Lohan ran with the opportunity to explain that, absent any oversight -- monetary, parental, social and otherwise -- she began making the poor decisions that have played out like so much bad reality TV ever since.