Lindsay Lohan Arrested: Alcohol Problems To Blame?

By Jessica Barbanel on November 29, 2012 11:50 AM EST

Does Lindsay Lohan still have a drinking problem?
Does Lindsay Lohan still have a drinking problem? (Photo: Reuters)

Lindsay Lohan was arrested early Thursday morning after punching a woman in the face outside a New York nightclub. Coming on the heels of scathing reviews for her "Liz and Dick" performance, fans are wondering if the embattled 26-year-old actress has started hitting the bottle again.

Though she was released from police custody, the third-degree misdemeanor assault charge will be added to a long list of offenses including a call to police last month when she and her mother, Dina Lohan, were found in a deafening argument. In September, Lohan was also arrested in NYC after her Porsche allegedly slammed into a pedestrian crossing the street.

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At first, she was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, but a court appearance that was originally scheduled for late-October was canceled, much to the relief of the "Mean Girls" star.

Public spats are nothing new for the former child actress who has been in and out of police stations for the last five years. In late January 2007, she checked in to Wonderland Center Rehabilitation facility for a 30-day treatment program. But the month of therapy didn't seem to work. By May of that year she was arrested again for a DUI and was forced to check in to Promises Treatment Center facility for a 45-day program.

The stories only got worse from there. In July she was arrested for another DUI, including possession of cocaine and driving with a suspended license. It was back to rehab. This time at Cirque Lodge Treatment Center. Three years probation, too. At the time, Lohan released a statement saying: "It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs."

For the next three years, Lohan was in and out of rehab and jail. "I was only aware of cocaine because of my dad," she told the UK's Sun newspaper in early 2010. "I was terrified of it. But I tried it because I was stubborn, stupid, and wanted to see what it was like. It's not something I ever want to do again. It made me feel like s***. It became uninteresting to me. I'm hyper anyway and I have that kind of personality so I don't need something like that."

At the time, fans were shocked by Lohan's candor. "I went to rehab three times," she told the paper. "The first time I checked myself in because I had taken Ambien. It's a sleeping aid but it makes you hallucinate. I'd run a bath and fallen asleep on the floor and the bath had overflowed. When I woke up I was so scared, I called my therapist and said, 'Can I just go somewhere for a month?""

Almost three years later, friends and family are panicked that Lohan is careening out of control yet again. The much-hyped Lifetime tribute to ElizabethTaylor, "Liz and Dick," premiered on Sunday. And it probably would have come and gone without a whimper if it hadn't featured the embattled actress Lindsay Lohan. But the lure of one troubled star playing another proved too powerful to ignore. Could this be Lohan's all-important comeback, fans wondered.

The answer was a resounding no. "Lohan, who has squandered years of promise and talent as a sullen-faced party-girl and irregular arrestee, has been cut so many breaks, it's difficult to root for her anymore," Ken Tucker wrote in Entertainment Weekly. "But there's still a vulnerable quality to her, the same sensitive-soul aspect to her gaze that's been there since she starred in The Parent Trap [1998], that keeps one's hope alive."

Lindsay Lohan's short-but-storied career has followed a similar path to Taylor's - both women were plagued by paparazzi, with rumors constantly swirling. "You can never actually be a clone of the person, so you have to bring some of yourself into it," Lohan recently told Good Morning America. "I was lucky enough, because I do relate to Elizabeth Taylor in a lot of ways."

Lohan didn't elaborate, but viewers of the morning program immediately thought she was talking about Elizabeth Taylor's drinking problems. In 1983, Taylor checked herself into the Betty Ford Clinic for alcohol abuse.

Lohan wasn't able to replicate Taylor's passion. But viewers of the Lifetime movie were left with the haunting notion that the "Liz and Dick" star was reprising a different role - that of a troubled star.

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