Stupid lawsuits are filed every day, and Lindsay Lohan does stupid things every day. But is she really behind the E*Trade lawsuit that bears her name?
According to a complaint filed in New York's Nassau County Supreme Court on Monday, Lohan claims that the E*Trade advertisement that refers to a "milkaholic" named Lindsay appropriated her name and image without her consent, and she is seeking a whopping $100 million in damages and an injunction against further broadcast of the commercial. It's a ludicrous claim, as former Gawker editor Joshua Stein, who happened to be reporting on the development of that very ad for Esquire and has produced documents showing that the "milkaholic" character was originally named "Deborah," has demonstrated.
But the strange thing about the suit is that the lead attorney on the case, Stephanie Ovadia, has done legal work for Michael Lohan in the past, and Michael has repeatedly posted fulsome praise of Ovadia's legal skills to his Twitter feed as recently as January. Last we checked, Michael was still in the midst of his famous feud with Lindsay—just last week, father and daughter were lobbing tabloid insults at one another, with Lindsay saying she didn't speak to Michael and calling him "nuts." So why would she seek out her dad's lawyer just a few days later to file a $100 million lawsuit? Sure, the high-end Hollywood lawyers that Lindsay has employed in the past wouldn't be stupid enough to draw up the E*Trade complaint, but surely she could find a bottom-feeding attorney of her own to embarrass themselves for money and attention.
And she could probably find one who is a member of the state bar in which the suit was filed. According to the web site of the New York Supreme Court's Appellate Division, which is responsible for admitting attorneys to the New York bar, no one going by the name "Stephanie Ovadia" is currently entitled to appear before New York courts (which may explain the presence of Ovadia's co-counsel Anand Ahuja, who is admitted to the bar, on the complaint).
According to press accounts posted on Ovadia's web site, she has practiced law in New York in the past. But she certainly doesn't seem like a go-to lawyer for a multimillion dollar case—unless you can sue people for $100 million over parking tickets.
Ovadia didn't return a phone call and e-mail asking how she got involved in the case and whether she'd ever spoken to Lindsay Lohan about it. And we don't really know where to go to ask someone from Lindsay's side about it, considering the fact that her long-time publicist is on a "hiatus." Her mother Dina Lohan told the New York Post today that Lindsay was outraged by the ad, adding, in a telling use of the first person, "I'm just basically glad I took a stand." And to to complete the circle, Radar Online quoted Michael Lohan just two days ago saying that he and his ex-wife had reconnected and were "crying to each other" on the phone after he took a heart-related trip to the hospital.
A cynic might suspect that Lindsay's money-grubbing parents recently started talking again and hatched a plan to attach their daughter's name to a bullshit lawsuit filed by a provincial lawyer that one of them knows. But we can't imagine what sort of parents would treat their daughter that way.