Lindsay Lohan appears in court despite recent illness

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Lindsay Lohan appeared in court with a new attorney Wednesday after earlier indicating she would miss the mandatory appearance -- on a charge of lying to police about a car crash -- because she had been sick.

Lohan was back in front of L.A. County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner for allegedly violating probation in a jewelry shoplifting case and to answer to a new charge of lying to Santa Monica police for allegedly telling them she was not driving a Porsche involved in a collision with a truck on Pacific Coast Highway.

The 26-year-old actress decided to appear in court Wednesday at the last minute. Mark Heller, the New York-based attorney now representing Lohan, had submitted paperwork to the court saying she was too ill to travel from New York and could not appear.

But facing the likelihood of an arrest warrant if she failed to show, Lohan flew to L.A.


Sautner said Lohan was ordered to court only because she wanted to replace her lawyer and will not have to appear at her next court date March 1. Sautner approved Heller as Lohan’s new counsel, allowing him to replace Shawn Holley, who represented Lohan in years of court appearances.

‘I know there was some drama concerning her attendance today,’ Heller said, adding that Lohan was ill but recovered enough to travel to Los Angeles.

‘I’m glad to see you’re feeling better,’ Sautner said to Lohan.

‘Thank you,’ the actress replied.

Heller initially suggested Lohan came down with the flu — calling it an ‘epidemic’ in New York — but conceded it was a cold.

Sautner is the same judge who cracked down on the actress after she missed required therapy sessions and community service shifts at a downtown women’s center. Sautner sentenced her to 360 hours of labor at the county coroner’s office.


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-- Richard Winton and Kate Mather