Actress Lindsay Lohan was returned to jail in handcuffs today after a judge refused to set bail and ordered her to remain in custody for failing a drug test until another hearing nearly a month away.
Bailiffs escorted the troubled actress from the Beverly Hills courtroom immediately after the 10 minute hearing.
It will be Lohan’s third jail stint for a three-year-old drug and drink-driving case filed after a pair of high-profile arrests in 2007.
Before the hearing, the “Mean Girls” star chatted with her attorney, smiling and laughing. But moments before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elden S Fox took the bench, she began fidgeting with her earrings and looking to the back of the courtroom, where two bondsmen sat in the courtroom, prepared to post the actress’ bail.
Lohan’s attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley, asked Judge Fox whether Lohan’s full probation revocation hearing could be delayed a week.
“I think your client would rather have it on October 22,” Judge Fox said, giving the first hint that he intended to send the actress to jail.
Holley rose to argue that bail should be set.
“Nope,” the judge replied.
“Oh God,” said Lohan’s father Michael as bailiffs moved in handcuffing his daughter.
Lohan has twice been released early because of overcrowding, with her longest jail stay a 14-day stint on a 90-day sentence earlier this summer.
But this time, the judge’s order diminishes the likelihood that Lohan will be released before the October 22 hearing, when her positive drug test will be discussed.
“When you put the judge in a tight spot, he has no alternative,” said Barry Gerald Sands, a defence attorney who has represented celebrity clients in drug cases. “She will not get out now.”
The previous judge handling Lohan’s case had said she had to set bail for Lohan because she was facing misdemeanours, and a bondsman was sitting in the courtroom ready to post bail.
“This judge feels he didn’t have to set bail,” Sands said, adding that Judge Fox’s orders are rarely overturned.
Judge Fox said Lohan had a “positive test for a controlled substance,” but did not name the substance. He said probation officials are also reviewing Lohan’s compliance with other aspects of her probation, which included frequent meetings with counsellors.
Lohan’s mother, Dina, walked into the courtroom about 45 minutes after the hearing. By then, Los Angeles television stations were following a car said to be carrying her daughter to jail.
The two women had arrived at the courthouse together an hour before, while the actress’s father – with whom she’s publicly sparred – arrived earlier.
The actress acknowledged failing a court-ordered drug screening last week in a series of Twitter postings.
It was Lohan’s first appearance before Judge Fox, who had said at a previous hearing he would sentence her to a month in jail for each drug test she skipped or failed.
The actress wasn’t present for that hearing, which was held hours after her release from rehab.
Lohan seemed to acknowledge an addiction problem after news of her positive drug test broke last week.
“Substance abuse is a disease, which unfortunately doesn’t go away over night,” Lohan posted on her Twitter feed last Friday. “I am working hard to overcome it and am taking positive steps.
“This is certainly a setback for me but I am taking responsibility for my actions and I’m prepared to face the consequences,” her posts said.
The actress remains on probation for a reckless driving and two driving under the influence charges.
Judge Fox dropped two drug cases at a hearing in August during which he announced Lohan’s release from rehab and set out a strict outpatient treatment schedule that included random drug screenings.
Judge Fox has sealed Lohan’s court file, but a source said the actress’ failed test came roughly two weeks after her release from rehab.