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Lindsay Lohan is back! How did our 2000s star change her life after spending years away from the spotlight?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

The career of Lindsay Lohan is marked by ups and downs. Remember some of the most impactful moments of her in the spotlights and get to know why she stayed so much time away from them. 

Swap lives with your twin sister and each one gets to know that parent that she never saw, it is a great storyline for a movie, right? 

That is the exact synopsis of Parent Trap (1998), starring a 12-year-old girl, Lindsay Lohan. With a great performance in this movie, LiLo turned into one of the most promising actresses of the 2000s. 

While her career was in development, the actress and singer got even more attention from the paparazzi and the tabloids, being for so long, the center of them. Because of her drugs and alcohol issues, her bright career got into some big problems, and, after that, she decided to stay almost a decade away from the spotlight. 

The beginning of a brilliant (and early) career

The first role of Lindsay Lohan in the cinematographic industry was in Parent Trap (1998). This remake of the original 1961 movie, tells the story of Hallie Parker and Annie James, twin sisters that were separated while they were kids. Lindsay´s performance as both of the sisters was so acclaimed and admired by the public. 

The Walt Disney Company saw, at that time, the talent that she had and decided to invest in movies with her as the main character. Get a Clue (2002), Freaky Friday (2003), Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004) and Herbie Fully Loaded (2005), were some of the movies that had the star in the main role. For that reason, it wasn’t unusual to see Lohan on the screens of Disney Channel at that time. 

Also, in 2004, she starred in the movie Mean Girls, a huge success. The movie’s box office was about 130 million dollars and the LiLo character (Cady Heron) alongside Rachel McAdams (Regina George) got so much fame worldwide. In that year, Cady´s actress also presented at the MTV Movie Awards and took home a Golden Popcorn for her acting in Freaky Friday

Later, in the same year, she recorded her debut album, “Speak”, after signing with Casablanca Records. The production came fourth in Billboard 200 and marked the start of Lindsay´s singing career. Everything was going so great until fame knocked on her door. All this ascension made the media and tabloids want to cover all her steps and everything related to her. And, at the same time, Lohan was turning into a “Hollywood Girl Party”.  

Paparazzi after the “party girl”

In the early 2000s, Hallie Parker’s performer got into a love triangle. Aaron Carter was dating another Disney star, Hilary Duff (Lizzie McGuire). However, it seems that he got involved with Lindsay too, which resulted in a lot of provocations between the actresses. Another polemic involving LiLo was her romance with the “That ´70s Show” actor, Wilmer Valderrama. They confirmed the relationship on her 18th birthday, but they were spotted a long way before when Lindsay was only 17 years old and Valderrama, was 24. 

In 2006, she was already considered one of the “party girls” alongside Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Moreover, there is an iconic picture of these three celebrities in Hilton´s car after a long night in the club. The photograph was taken by the paparazzi, proving that these stars were always followed by them. 

However, it was in 2007 that things started to get a lot more complicated. The alcohol and drug issues started to bring major consequences for Lindsay, such as three rehabs in one year and two arrests. In the second arrest, Lohan was charged with driving with a suspended license, drunk, and possessing cocaine. 

Three years later, she was sent to rehab again after defaulting on her mandatory alcohol classes. She also got to spend 90 days in jail (it didn’t happen and she was arrested for 14 days of these 90 ones). Not even a month passed and LiLo failed her drug test. The court decided, however, to revoke her probation and she was sent again to jail, but she left on the same day on bail. 

The next years were marked by controversial situations for Lindsay too. In 2011, she stole a necklace and stayed under house arrest; in 2012, she suffered another car accident, related to her dependencies and, in the year of 2013, she agreed to recover herself by going to another 90-day rehab. 

During this turbulent period, she didn’t stop doing movies, but most of them were criticized. The paparazzi and the tabloids continued to follow her life and magazines were always publishing something about Lohan’s life. Moreover, an edition of InTouch Weekly in 2014 revealed a list of Lindsay´s alleged hookups. The list contained 36 famous names and shocked people at the time. 

A fresh start

To get out of the center of attention, Lohan decided to start over away from the United States. She first moved to London and, then, to Dubai. Between the years of 2016 and 2018, she opened some beach clubs in Greece, which led her to film an MTV reality show about this theme. Lindsay Lohan´s Beach Club was about her business in Mykonos, Greece, but lasted just one season. 

Her life was off the spotlight and flowing so well that even her romantic interests were not more in the media. At a Dubai Music Festival, she was spotted in a romantic atmosphere with Bader Shammas. It is not a coincidence that in 2021 they got engaged, getting married in April 2022. Besides that great restart for LiLo, this new phase was also marked by her entrance into the mother’s world. She gave birth to their first son, Luai, in July 2023. 

The reasons for Lindsay Lohan getting away from the spotlight were revealed in an interview that she granted for Bustle. The true reason was that she wanted to have a private life. The many years running away from the paparazzi and being in the center of the tabloids were exhausting and were affecting her acting, that’s why she left it behind. 

A Hollywood Comeback 

For the happiness of all, the loved actress decided to make a slow comeback to the big screens. Her first movie after a decade away from Hollywood was Falling for Christmas, released in 2022. The production is part of a collaboration project between Netflix and LiLo, which will be composed of three movies starring the actress. So, the story of this one is about a spoiled heiress who loses her memory in a ski accident. After waking up, she finds herself under the care of a lodge´s owner and his daughter during the Christmas season. 

Another Netflix-Lohan movie was released this year. Irish Wish tells the story of Maddie, who needs to be the bridesmaid at her love interest’s wedding after her best friend gets engaged to him. However, a wish in Ireland lands changes everything and she changes places with her friend, becoming the bride. 

The other movie of the project is in production. Directed by Stephen Herek, Our Little Secret, will have Lindsay in the leading role and Kristin Chenoweth (Descendants) as a character too. It seems that this new phase is going to be incredible for our 2000s star. Lots of success to the Drama Queen! 


The article above was edited by Larissa Buzon.

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Isabelle Bignardi

Casper Libero '26

Hi! I´m a journalism student at Cásper Líbero and I love to talk about movies, pop culture, music, astrology and books. By writing some texts for you, I hope to make a difference in the way you see these topics. Hope you like it! =)