Lindsay Lohan surveillance video: Will sale hurt criminal case?
Video surveillance allegedly showing actress Lindsay Lohan stealing a necklace from a Venice jewelry store is one of several key pieces of evidence in the criminal case against the actress. And several sources familiar with the investigation said this additional evidence could blunt any damage done now that the video has been sold to the media.
The jewelry store's owner sold the video, which has not yet been broadcast. Still images have appeared on Entertainment Tonight's website.
Lohan's defense attorneys have said that the store wanted to make money by accusing her of stealing the necklace, a claim that some could contend is supported by the fact that the tape was sold.
But sources noted that the video is not the only evidence allegedly tying Lohan to a crime. The other is paparazzi photos and video showing Lohan with the necklace after she allegedly took it from the store.
The sources also said that the jewelry owner had been reluctant to press charges and that prosecutors decided to move forward on the strength of the store video.
Neither L.A. prosecutors nor Lohan's attorney would immediately comment on the sale.
"There has been a tremendous amount of media speculation about an incident which took place on January 22, 2011 at a Venice, California jewelry store named Kamofie and Company," said a message on the website that plans to stream the video. "Many individuals want to be able to see the video streams from the jewelry store’s surveillance cameras, and we have obtained the exclusive license for them. The tapes speak for themselves."
Lohan has been charged with stealing a $2,500 necklace from the store. The felony grand theft case is by far the most serious in a string of charges she's faced. A conviction could bring her significant jail time. She has pleaded not guilty.
Lohan has been in and out of court and rehab over the last two years. She spent three months at a rehabilitation center in Rancho Mirage under orders from Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox, who spared the actress jail time in October after Lohan tested positive for drugs while on probation in a DUI case. If she is convicted in the necklace theft she could serve jail time for that crime and also be eligible for additional detention for violating her probation.
Riverside County prosecutors said they were still considering whether to file charges against Lohan for allegedly shoving an employee at the Betty Ford Center last year. The employee reported that Lohan had assaulted her but has since said she does not want to press charges.
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Lindsay Lohan. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images