Social-media commenters are criticizing David Letterman over a highly edited excerpt of his 2013 talk-show interview with actress Lindsay Lohan.
Journalist Trey Tylor on Saturday posted the 2¼-minute edit of the original 14½-minute interview from April 9, 2013, highlighting portions in which Letterman pressed Lohan over her upcoming stint in rehab. "This Lindsay Lohan interview on David Letterman in 2013 is horrifying to watch now," Tylor tweeted.
"Now aren't you supposed to be in rehab now?" Letterman asks, 3½ minutes into the original interview. After Lohan jokes in response and tells him May 2, he asks in a serious voice, "And how long will you be in rehab?" She answers, "Three months." When he asks, again in seriousness, "How many times have you been in rehab?," Lohan replies, "Several." Once more in a not-joking voice, Letterman asks, "And how will this time be different? What are they rehab-ing, first of all? What is on their list?" As the audience titters, he asks, "What are they going to work on when you walk through the door?"
"We didn't discuss this in the pre-interview," says Lohan, who was raised in Cold Spring Harbor and Merrick, referring to standard pre-show preparations between guests and production staff. She goes on to say, "I'm happiest when I'm working and healthiest, and I think this is an opportunity for me to focus on what I love in life. And I don't think it's a bad thing. I think it's a blessing…."
The edited version then cuts out Letterman telling her seriously that rehab is "perhaps a life-saver, a career-saver." Lohan nods in agreement as the audience applauds.
Also edited out is a two-minute segment in which the two discuss the benefits of rehab, with Letterman bringing up his own therapy, saying: "The victory is to succeed and get through this and have a wonderful life ahead of you, is what they've always told me in psychiatry, and I've done my time."
The truncated Twitter video excises five minutes of the two bantering, and Letterman telling Lohan with admiration, "You have enough spine, enough sense of yourself, enough poise to come out here and talk to me." Lohan, smiling, picks up a coffee mug from Letterman's desk, sips from it and jokes, to audience laughter, "So I thought this was going to be vodka!"
Instead, the edited version cuts to Letterman pointing out that Lohan is tearing up, which left some Twitter commenters with the impression that she was crying over his questions from much earlier. Edited out is Lohan responding, "Sorry, I'm flustered right now, because you made me tear up, because you're very sweet…." As the segment ends, she holds his hand.
"In that time, in general, there were really no boundaries, and women have always had a tougher time," Lohan's representative, Leslie Sloane, told Newsday in a phone interview. "All of these interviews and stories coming back now are proving that. I'm not specifically talking about Dave — Dave was always very sweet to her. Looking at it now, the interview seems awkward. But Lindsay handled herself with grace and class. Lindsay is not looking to condemn anybody, but is living in the present and is very happy, and in a couple of months will be announcing some new projects."
While the edited video elicited much condemnation online, some commenters noted that the interview was "cut up and taken out of context," and others pointed out that Letterman "joked with every male guest about their tabloid stories and problems and idiosyncrasies too."
Tylor did not respond to a Newsday request for comment. It was unclear if he had edited the video or was reposting someone else's edit.
Letterman's representative declined to comment.