March 7, 2011 – Lindsay Lohan was probably hoping her screen return was going to be something a little better than a straight-to-internet feature.
A website has popped up claiming to have licensed the surveillance video and photos that allegedly show the Mean Girls star shopping at a Venice jewelry store, a visit that led to her being charged with felony grand theft for allegedly stealing a now-infamous $2,500 necklace.
The Spencer Co. of Beverly Hills, fronted by Kamofie & Co. spokesman Christopher Spencer, stated Sunday that it would soon begin to stream portions of the video on necklacevideo.com.
“Speculation as to what occurred that day has been the subject of intense rumor in the media and elsewhere,” the company said on the site. “Many individuals want to be able to see the video streams from the jewelry store’s surveillance cameras, and we have obtained the exclusive license for them. The tapes speak for themselves.”
But that wasn’t the only place the alleged theft popped up.
Entertainment Tonight obtained stills of surveillance camera footage from inside the Kamofie & Co. store, which appear to show the 24-year-old starlet shopping in the store.
So why is the jewelry store releasing the footage?
“The company management was upset with the facts that people were mischaracterizing the contents of the video,” Spencer said in a statement to E! News. “Rather than rely on secondhand descriptions, it was the right thing for the public to see for themselves.
“There were literally thousand of media inquiries for the release of the video, which is not any sort of secret evidence. The video would have absolutely been released during trial anyways, as was stated by several prominent criminal attorneys,” the statement continues. “The release of the video now does not violate any laws and in our opinion will have no effect on the outcome of the Lohan criminal proceedings. The case speaks for itself. At this point the case is beyond out control and in the hands of the D.A.’s office. Out of respect of Lindsay Lohan we would prefer the justice system to sort out the case. We cannot speculate on any of the wild assumptions we are seeing from both online journalists, bloggers and others.”
Lohan, who pleaded not guilty to felony grand theft in the case of the missing necklace in February, is due back in court Thursday. The last time she appeared, Judge Keith Schwartz offered the starlet a stern warning.
“There are a couple things you need to understand so there are absolutely no misunderstandings,” the judge told Lohan. “I’m just going to tell you a couple of the things if the case settles in this court will happen.
“This case does involve jail time. Period. If you plead in front of me, if this case is resolved in front of me, you are going to jail. Period. There may be an issue as to the amount of time you go, of course…but if the case settles here, I don’t want you under any apprehension. You will go to jail.”
Should Lindsay opt not to resolve the case in court—by pleading either no contest or guilty to the charge—the case will move on to another judge, who will also decide the issue of possible probation violation.