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This story first appeared in the July 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
Shawn Holley spent years working as a Los Angeles County public defender and served on the O.J. Simpson criminal defense team with Johnnie Cochran, so she was uniquely prepared for the recent media circus surrounding client Lindsay Lohan.
It all started June 8, when Lohan was hospitalized after her black Porsche struck the back of an 18-wheeler truck on Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica. She and a passenger appeared bloodied and bruised but were not seriously injured.
A week later, on June 15, the actress was found unconscious in her room at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, Calif., where she was treated by paramedics. The next day, Lohan hit Twitter to let fans know that she was suffering from exhaustion related to her work on the Lifetime movie Liz & Dick, in which she plays Elizabeth Taylor.
“Note to self.. After working 85hours in 4days, and being up all night shooting, be very aware that you might pass out from exhaustion & 7 paramedics MIGHT show up @ your door…. Hopefully theyre cute. Otherwise it would be a real let down. XL @mrsalperez -back on set,” she tweeted.
After two crewmembers on the Lifetime movie also were hospitalized for the same reason, actors union SAG-AFTRA and IATSE, the union that represents movie and TV crewmembers, launched an investigation into the TV project and later said they would continue to monitor the working conditions.
Just 10 days after the incident at the Ritz-Carlton, Lohan again generated headlines with a controversial photo shoot for notorious fashion photographer Terry Richardson in which the actress is depicted holding a gun to her head and in her mouth.
(Amid the drama, Lohan also managed to generate some news about her career, having recently been cast in the indie film The Canyons, a sexual thriller that adapts a Bret Easton Ellis script.)
Representing Lohan throughout the media hoopla has been Holley, the criminal defense attorney who also successfully got the actress’ felony charge relating to the alleged theft of a necklace from an L.A. jewelry store reduced to a misdemeanor; Lohan remains on probation.
Holley, who recently posed with Lohan for The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Power Lawyers List (see below), also has repped Mike Tyson and the Kardashian sisters in various cases. How does she get leverage?
“Using charm, humor and friendliness to mask the vicious, snarling tactician hiding just beneath the surface,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
As for her dream client? Jersey Shore’s Nicole Polizzi, aka Snooki.
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