Never has so much attention been paid to a manicure.
Less than 24 hours after Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 90 days in rehab for violating probation on two DUIs, the talk isn't about her troubles, but about her fingernails.
The 24-year-old actress sported a colorful manicure in court Tuesday that included obscene messages on each of her middle fingers. Close-up photos taken by a courtroom photographer revealed the tiny letters, which made worldwide news Wednesday on entertainment websites.
Were the messages intended for the judge, who levied the harsh sentence Tuesday? Directives to the ever-present paparazzi who follow Lohan's every move? Perhaps a silent snub to her estranged father, who attended Tuesday's proceedings?
Lohan let her middle-finger messages speak for themselves until Wednesday afternoon, when she took to her Twitter account to clarify the purpose of the defiant digits.
"It had nothing to do w/court," Lohan wrote. "It's an airbrush design from a stencil."
Written expression on her hands is nothing new, though. Lohan also has a tattoo on her right index finger that reads "Shhh..."
Inscribing fingernails with messages is an emerging trend with the younger set, said celebrity manicurist Jenna Hipp, adding that she wrote a secret message beneath Gabourey Sidibe's manicure when the "Precious" star was preparing for the Oscars.
"Kids are just starting to play a little bit more with their fingernails," Hipp said. "Now with Lindsay doing it, of course, it's going to go crazy."
The look is easy to create at home, she said, with a Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen topped with a coat of clear polish.
Lohan's criminal defense attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley, who sat beside the actress during Tuesday's hearing, was in court Wednesday and not immediately available to comment on the naughty nails.
Ed McPherson, Lohan's civil attorney who attended Tuesday's hearing and sat near her in court during breaks, said he did not notice the message painted on her fingernails and does not think she meant to disrespect the court.
"Absolutely not," he said.
He said Lohan's tearful statement in court Tuesday was sincere.
"I think she thinks that she's come a long way," he said. "Obviously she's very upset about this."
The actress had some good news Wednesday: A probation report said her six drug screenings since May were clean of illicit drugs and alcohol. The reports showed the screenings occurred after the actress missed a court hearing and a judge imposed new restrictions, including wearing an ankle alcohol monitor.
The report was released a day after the judge sentenced Lohan to 90 days in jail and a stint in rehab for missing court-mandated alcohol education classes.
The report showed Lohan was taking a variety of medications for which she had valid prescriptions, and their use did not constitute a probation violation.
In addition, the "Mean Girls" star got a reprieve Wednesday in another pending court case when a judge delayed a civil trial stemming from one of Lohan's 2007 arrests.
Her attorneys and four people suing her agreed to delay a trial scheduled for later this month, citing her upcoming jail sentence, which is set to begin July 20. No new date for the civil trial was set.
Lohan is being sued by a woman who was in a vehicle chased by the actress and three other men who claim Lohan involved them by taking a sport utility vehicle without permission.
Both sides have listed Lohan as a potential witness during the trial.
Lohan must wear an alcohol-monitoring anklet until she surrenders for jail later this month. After completing her time behind bars, she has two days to report to a probation officer to begin formal probation. She is also required to spend 90 days in an inpatient substance-abuse program.
The back-to-back sentences are likely to prevent Lohan from promoting her fashion line, 6126, which begins shipping out to stores this month, and the Robert Rodriguez movie "Machete," set to open in September. The sentence will also delay production of "Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story," in which Lohan stars as the title character.
AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report.
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