Lindsay Lohan, Entertainment Weekly's Breakouts 2004 cover girl, opens up about fame, her family, those nasty rumors, and her next steps on the way to the top

By Karen Valby
Updated December 10, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Credit: Lindsay Lohan Portrait by James White

Getting to know the real Lindsay Lohan takes work. Which is weird, because the first thing that Lindsay Lohan, Lindsay Lohan’s mom, and the whole Lindsay Lohan team say about her is that she’s so real.

”I think that’s what America loves about her,” says her mother and manager, Dina, a very blond and bubbly former Rockette. ”She’s so real. She’s so honest. Raw.”

It’s been a big year for the 18-year-old redhead. She starred in the wicked high school satire Mean Girls, which grossed over $86 million, and the silly high school comedy Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, which took in $29 million. Now she’s joined forces with Tommy Mottola to record the recently released pop album Speak. ”Her whole lifestyle and attitude encompass everything teenagers are going through,” says Mottola. ”And if you want to have a huge, successful album, that’s really the market you want.”

But glance at the cover of any tabloid and teen queen Lindsay Lohan, so often compared to her heroes Ann-Margret and Marilyn Monroe, seems like she’s teetering toward the edge of her pedestal. In October, she spent five days in the hospital, blaming exhaustion. The rags smirked and, pointing to her ubi-quitous presence alongside Paris Hilton and Tara Reid on L.A.’s club scene, smelled drugs. Then her relationship with 24-year-old That ’70s Show star Wilmer Valderrama flamed out. And now her father, Michael, who served four years in federal prison in the ’90s for fraud and spent time in rehab earlier this fall, is back in jail for driving under the influence of drugs and violating an order of protection taken out by his estranged wife, Dina.