Troubled star Lindsay Lohan goes on trial in a case that represents her most serious brush with the law in six years of scandal.
The 26-year-old is accused of lying to police when she told them she was not behind the wheel of a Porsche that collided with a truck as she headed to filming of the movie Liz & Dick in June.
If she is found guilty, Lohan could also be in breach of her probation for a conviction for shoplifting from a jeweller’s shop in the Californian beach resort of Venice.
The former child star has been in trouble with the law since she was arrested for driving under the influence in 2007.
A catalogue of arrests, court appearances and rehab has become fodder for America’s huge entertainment news industry.
Mike Walters, news director of TMZ.com, told Sky News that this is the most serious case she has ever faced.
“She is not going to get a slap on the wrist and sent to jail for a couple of days. She is going to be there for a long time.”
He accepts the media has played a part in her troubles – but that can be no excuse for her.
“When Lindsay Lohan first got in trouble I would say the way it was covered could have caused some of her problems.
“But at a point you’ve got to say ‘take some responsibility’. She is an adult, she has been famous for a number of years, you can’t blame the media, her parents, her upbringing, the movies she was on, her ex-boyfriends, after all this time.”
Her life has become a cautionary tale for those who spot child stars and guide them through the minefield of Hollywood and fame.
Susie Mains, a child talent agent and author of Baby, You’re A Star, told Sky News: “Lindsay Lohan was wanted by producers and directors and now she’s wanted by the law.
“The greatest tragedy is that she is so uber-talented, unbelievably, off-the-charts talented, and made the difficult transition from child star to meaningful movie star but couldn’t sustain it.”
Lohan faces misdemeanour charges of reckless driving, giving false information to a police officer and resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer in relation to the crash in Santa Moncia. Each carries a potential jail sentence of three months to a year.
It has been reported she rejected the offer of a plea deal offered by prosecutors which had proposed she spent 90 days in a locked rehabilitation facility.
Her lawyer, Mark Heller, told the last court hearing that Lohan was currently in therapy.
He said: “This is not what she needs-rehab. Lindsay doesn’t have a problem with alcohol and drugs. Lindsay’s issues are different.”
Judge James Dabney dismissed his calls for a delay, saying: “I don’t know how the next two weeks is suddenly going to change the history of these cases.”