Lindsay Lohan video: Actress didn't have permission to take necklace, jewelry store says
Portions of a security video purporting to show Lindsay Lohan stealing a necklace from a Venice jewelry store have been broadcast, and a spokesman for the store said the actress improperly removed the item.
"With regard to the question of Lindsay Lohan's guilt or innocence, we repeat that Kamofie and Company never gave permission to Ms. Lohan to remove the necklace from the store," Christopher Spencer, a spokesperson for store, said in a statement Monday. "The rest is up to the jury."
Spencer's statement marked the most detailed response from the store and attempts to explain why the video was made public.
"The bottom line is we felt there was far too much speculation about the video recording, and that it was right for the public to be able to see the video itself," he said. "The video would be released during the actual trial anyway, as has been explained by several prominent criminal attorneys. Release of the video at this time does not violate any law, and we believe its release should have no impact on the outcome of the criminal proceeding."
The video was sold to "Entertainment Tonight," which broadcast it Monday.
It's unclear what effect its sale and broadcast will have. Lohan faces felony charges in connection with the $2,500 necklace — the most serious in a string of recent run-ins she's had with the law.
Sources told The Times that the video is a key piece of evidence — but not the only one. Paparazzi photos taken days later show the actress wearing the necklace. The case file includes statements from people who were inside the store at the same time as Lohan, said the sources, who spoke on condition that they not be named because the case is ongoing.
Some legal experts said it could give ammunition to Lohan's defense team, which can now argue the jewelry store had a financial incentive to accuse Lohan of theft.
"I don't care who it is [shown on the video], it's a negative for the prosecution," said James Blatt, a veteran defense lawyer whose clients have included former San Fernando Valley drug dealer and convicted killer Jesse James Hollywood. "Somebody is getting paid, and that should not occur."
But Glen T. Jonas, also a longtime defense attorney, said the sale of the video doesn't change the images captured on the video and ultimately shouldn't present big problems for the prosecution's case.
"The video is newsworthy, and the public has a right to see it," Jonas said. "It only becomes a problem if a specific employee's testimony is necessary to establish the elements of the charges and that employee profited from the sale of the video."
-- Andrew Blankstein