For Lindsay Lohan, what a difference 12 days makes -- 12 days of community service, that is, done ahead of a court-ordered probation schedule, with an extra day of therapy thrown in for good measure.
Lohan smiled several times in court Wednesday and once covered her face with her hands in a girlish display of happy embarrassment, visible on a live TMZ camera feed from the courtroom, when Judge Stephanie Sautner teased, "I think she likes to come here and see me. I think that's motivation."
Lohan attorney Shawn Chapman Holley had asked if, in the future, her client need not appear in person if the requirements had been met. That request was denied -- perhaps in line with what TMZ reported was a previous argument by the lawyer that the judge should provide "rigid structure" to help Lindsay succeed.
There was no fancy hair or fancy outfit for Lilo the day after her late return from Hawaii. In the wake of that vacation, which was for her sister's birthday, Holley also got specific with Sautner about travel rules as her client completes probation. Lohan had been instructed that she could leave the state for work or to spend holidays with family, with her probation officer's OK.
"You cannot leave the state except for work" between court appearances unless the required community service and counseling are done, Sautner told Lohan. However, once the minimum is done each month, she can travel "for pleasure, for any reason ... to go to a spa."
That said, Sautner suggested, another option was to do more morgue duty than required each month, "and then perhaps we can end this in February."
Lohan is fulfilling requirements related to a no contest plea to misdemeanor theft in May. She was sentenced to jail and a new probation schedule was laid out after her probation was revoked in October, and has 270 days behind bars looming over her if she blows this probation.
Her next court date is in mid-January.
— Christie D'Zurilla
Photo: Lindsay Lohan smiles during a hearing at the Airport Branch Courthouse in L.A. on Wednesday. Credit: Michael Nelson / European Pressphoto Agency