Is Lindsay Lohan now uninsurable?

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Is Lindsay Lohan now uninsurable?

Wed Jul 07, 2010 @ 08:45AM PST

By Matthew Belloni

Lindsay_lohan_courtJudge Marsha Revel clearly has seen enough of the Lindsay Lohan downward spiral, sentencing the starlet to 90 days in jail for violating her probation stemming from a drunken driving arrest. 

But has Hollywood seen enough? Will Lohan, once she's done serving a sentence scheduled to begin on July 20, ever work again? 

We're guessing yes. This is the film business, after all. It's easy to forget that a decade ago, "Iron Man" megastar Robert Downey Jr. was sitting in jail on drug charges, and as late as 2003 he was in a substance abuse treatment facility. At the time, many believed Downey would have a hard time ever finding work because nobody would insure his films (Hollywood productions require elaborate insurance policies in case something goes wrong and the film can't be finished; something like, say, an actor going to jail on drug charges). Like all insurance, the cost of the policy is determined by the risks, which, for Downey and now Lohan, shoot sky high once jail time becomes a reality.      

Still, "it's probably not the last straw for Lohan," says Douglas Turk, executive vp for Aon/Albert G. Ruben, an entertainment insurance broker. "Anything is insurable. It's just a question of price."

So how much? Depends on the production, but experts tell us rates for troublesome actors can run from 1% to 3% or more of a film's budget. That might not seem like a lot but with budgets being squeezed like never before, Lohan's latest act-out could be a fine reason to consider another worthy actress instead. At least one filmmaker, Matthew Wilder, who is set to direct Lohan in the Linda Lovelace biopic "Inferno," says he is "100% behind Lindsay" and "we are proud to have this remarkable artist work on our film." But today's sentencing probably means the cost of casting Lohan in Wilder's movie just went up. 

"If you have Lindsay Lohan as an 'essential element' in the picture, that will require the producer to put up more money to hold back to insure that it gets completed," Turk says. "You'd now expect to have an additional fee (for Lohan) than for the other cast." Whether producers will still be interested in Lohan if it means ponying up extra cash is an open question. 

Talent is talent, of course, and Lohan's performances in films like "Freaky Friday," "The Parent Trap" and, our personal favorite, "Mean Girls," suggest yesterday's sentencing likely won't prevent her from getting insurance under the right circumstances. 

"There are ways to get around the risk," Turk says. A policy, for instance, could outline various exclusions that would put producers or even Lohan herself on the hook should she end up in the slammer again. Sometimes stars are even asked to deposit their salaries into escrow in case they cause trouble on the set. After a few problem-free hit movies, legal issues would likely be forgotten, as would many of the precautions.

After all, Downey was once deemed uninsurable and now he's Iron Man. How long until Lohan would make a great Wonder Woman? 

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The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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