A smiling Lindsay Lohan makes her final probation update court appearance. The judge warns her she is now on her own. NBC4's John Càdiz Klemack shows you how far she has come.
Lindsay Lohan is a mostly free woman.
Lohan returned to court Thursday for her final probation status update stemming from a 2007 DUI case in Beverly Hills and thanked her judge for ending her strict probation requirements.
At the end of the five-minute court appearance, Lohan told the judge she had learned from the experience.
"Thank you for being fair, your honor," Lohan said. "It's really opened a lot of doors for me and I really appreciate it."
The judge received Lohan's final update on the requirements that had her doing cleanup duty at the Los Angeles County morgue and attending regular psychotherapy sessions since late last year. Judge Stephanie Sautner determined that Lohan was in compliance with terms stemming from a 2007 drunken driving case and January 2011 necklace theft.
"She has done everything this court has asked of her," Sautner said.
Lohan's probation for the 2007 case came to an end, but she will remain on informal probation for two more years in the necklace theft case. She will no longer be supervised by a probation officer and judge and no longer be forced to live in Los Angeles, where the actress still faces civil lawsuits over accidents and her bad behavior.
"I know it's kind of hard when people are following you all over the place and you can't get anywhere, but that's the life you chose," Sautner said.
The hearing comes as Lohan's career is showing hints of a comeback. She is due to guest star on an upcoming episode of "Glee," recently hosted a highly rated but criticized episode of "Saturday Night Live" and is set to star as Elizabeth Taylor in a television movie.
"Lindsay is ending one chapter and starting the next," Honig said. "She is very eager to get back on set and dive into her next few projects."
Roles have been hard to come by for Lohan in recent years as she has been in-and-out of courtrooms, admitted to rehab and sentenced to jail. Her failure to complete alcohol education classes in 2010 prompted a judge to sentence her to jail for the first time since the actress served 84 minutes for a pair of drunken driving arrests in 2007. A court-ordered rehab stint was cut short, but Lohan relapsed before year's end and was sent by another judge to the Betty Ford Center, where she was involved in a fight with a rehab worker.
Within three weeks of her release in January 2011, Lohan was accused of stealing a $2,500 necklace from a store near her Venice home and soon landed in Sautner's court. The judge rejected rehab, but did attempt to send Lohan, 25, to jail as punishment. Overcrowding reduced a November 2011 sentence to a few hours, although the actress did serve 35 days on house arrest earlier in the year.
Lohan's tortured four-and-a-half-year journey to complete her case is not entirely unprecedented. Actress Michelle Rodriguez took just over five years to resolve her drunken driving case, which featured many of the same elements as the Lohan saga: extensions, missed deadlines and jail sentences.
Resolving the case will provide the actress with the chance for something Hollywood has bestowed to plenty of other fallen stars: a comeback.
Her career prospects are largely tied to her ability to stay out of trouble, which at times has been a tough task for the actress. Two weeks before her hearing, a nightclub manager in Hollywood accused Lohan of grazing him with her Porsche. The actress denies the accusation and no charges have been filed, but the matter may end up in a civil court, where Lohan is already being sued by two other people for auto-related incidents.
Three men who were in a car that Lohan commandeered and used for a chase along Pacific Coast Highway — leading to her second drunken driving arrest in 2007 — are suing her and the case is scheduled for trial later this year. Lohan is also being sued by a woman who claims she was struck by the star's car while walking in West Hollywood.
She is also being sued by the former Betty Ford worker.
Whether the cases will result in the end of her off-screen drama remains to be seen.