As Lindsay Lohan tearfully, humbly pleaded with Judge Marsha Revel in a Beverly Hills, California, courtroom on Tuesday, the actress was subtly sending a somewhat different message with her nail.
Lohan, 24, was sentenced to 90 days in jail to be followed by 90 days in rehab for violating her probation from a 2007 DUI case by missing weekly alcohol-education classes. Close-ups of photos taken by The Associated Press revealed that Lohan had the message "F--- U" written on the airbrushed nail of the middle finger on her left hand, which she frequently pressed to her lips and cheek during Tuesday's hearing.
At press time, it was unclear if Lohan entered the courtroom with the profane nail art or if she scribbled it on during the course of the nearly day-long hearing. It was also unclear for whom the message was intended. Lohan's lawyer could not be reached for comment.
"As far as I knew, I was in compliance with my programs. ... I wasn't trying to get special treatment," said Lohan, whose crying jag became a ubiquitous image on the Internet within minutes of the sentencing. "I have to provide for myself. I have to work. Having said that, I did everything to balance my jobs and showing up. ... I'm not taking this as a joke; it's my life and career. ... I take responsibility for my actions. I've tried to do the best I can. It's been such a long haul. I don't want you to think I don't respect you and your terms."
A legal analyst for the "Today" show, Dan Abrams, said on Wednesday morning that the sentence handed down was a "very stiff" one that was most likely meant to send a message to Lohan, as well as to the rest of the community looking on.
"If she'd been anyone else, she'd be serving less time than anyone else in this case," Abrams said.
Lohan is scheduled to surrender on July 20 to begin serving her jail term and is likely to only serve a quarter of her sentence due to jail overcrowding, meaning she could be out after serving less than 25 days.