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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

AN OPEN LETTER TO LINDSAY LOHAN - RESENT


I wrote this blog some sixteen months ago.  In light of her continuous spiral downward, I thought I'd post it again.  To no end, I'm sure.  Maybe it's just to relieve my guilt for not being more proactive in my own recovery.  Mostly it's my innate sense that very soon, Lindsay Lohan will be dead.  And that makes me sad.


Dear Lindsay,

I do not know you.  I could never imagine what it's like being in your shoes.  Your childhood, your career, your relationships, your alleged dysfunction -- I do not know the truth.  All I have is the information reported to me by the media.  The bulk of that media are despicable whores who prey on the indiscretions and weaknesses of celebrity vulnerability.  If I could slice their fucking heads off and not be incarcerated, I'd be sharpening the blade right now.  I have immense compassion for your plight.  The scrutiny, the unrelenting exposé that has become your life is inconceivable.  The readers of those rags have no idea who you are and the depth of your struggle.  They soak up the hype, the sound bites and the titillating j-pegs like fat junkie cows.  As Louis C.K. says in one of his routines -- I have to stop doing everything because I need my whole fucking body to hate them.  

Slicing through the media fiction, I try to find the truth behind the noise.  This is what I see -- a young woman who has perhaps lost sight of her gift and it's purpose.  You are a very talented girl.  As a child, you revealed a skill that few achieve at any age.  It's no wonder that all those around you exploited that opportunity.  You shined, you were/are a star.  I'm not sure what happened.  Maybe you never got an opportunity to be a child.  The Hollywood landscape is littered with ex-child stars who have crashed and burned.  I know that's why Katey and I have a very firm rule: None of our kids can work professionally until AFTER they finish college.  Children need the real world to create real perspective.  You need life to develop life skills.

If you are reading this, perhaps this is where you'll stop, because now I speak to your part in all of this.  The truth is, it doesn't matter what happened in the past.  Today, you are an adult.  With that comes the responsibility of not only your personal life but of your career as well.  Talent is a rare commodity.  We are paid a lot of money to share that gift.  Sometimes we lose perspective, I know I do.  I become covetous of my gift, it spins me inward and I feel like everyone is trying to rip it out of my hands.  I grow angry and discontent.  I want them to just leave me the fuck alone.  That usually means I need sleep and to share the noise in my head with like-minded folks.  Ultimately, when my head clears, I am brought to a place of gratitude.  I think it was Warren Beatty who said that success is when you get paid lots of money for something you would gladly do for free.  That's how I feel.  I'm guessing, there is a part of you that feels the same way.  That in the moment, when you are connected in a scene with another actor, there is an indescribable joy that happens.  It's called being an artist and with it comes responsibility. 

It may not feel like it now, but the jail time you are about to serve is a blessing.  It's concrete proof that you are a member of a real community, of something bigger than the insular fucked-up Hollywood bubble you've been living in.  You have a chance to use this time for reflection and growth.  When I see that you or members of your "team" are selling TV rights to your pre and post jail time, I fear that you have lost sight of the opportunity that lies before you.  

If you do indeed have a compulsive relationship with drugs and alcohol, this is time to address it.  This is the time to look at the potential of the wonderful life that lies ahead.  There is only one thing I know for sure.  I promise you that this is the truth -- if you stay on the path you are now, if you don't experience some kind of psychic shift, if you don't dig deep and tap into some humility, you will die.  Very soon.  That may sound dramatic and like a bad PSA, but sadly, it's the truth, darling.  You will be dead before you turn 30.  And it will be ugly and sordid and it will line the pockets of the sycophants that plague you.

I look at Robert Downey, whom many thought would never pull himself out of the bottomless crack he fell into.  His incarceration became the event that allowed him to find his humility.  Like you, his talent was immense and when he showed up to play, clean, sober, grateful, he was embraced and gladly given another chance.  His star has been on an upward trajectory ever since.  


I realize this post has turned into a bit of lecture and I apologize for that.  I'm sure I'll get bitch-slapped by the blogosphere for my arrogance.  But Lindsay, just know that I speak from experience.  I'm very candid about my own sobriety.  Not using drugs and alcohol a day at a time is the only fucking perfect thing I've done in the last 18 years.  Every good thing in my life -- let me say that again -- every good thing in my life -- is a result of working a program of recovery. 



I wish you well.  I wish you life.

Sincerely,

Kurt Sutter

67 comments:

Slider said...

Well said Mr. Sutter, well said...

Kimmy said...

Kurt,

What a wonderful message to Lindsay! I am glad that you are a Dad. I hope you remember this when your own is a teenager. Kids struggle, and can ALWAYS, ALWAYS, stop, and do something different. Cheers!

Kimmy

seanny said...

Wow, that was real.

And awesome.

And really awesome.

Ride on, brother.

tanycea said...

Great Letter! My hope is that your candid and empathetic approach will resonate with her or perhaps someone that MAY share a similar struggle within their own "bubble"... An artists greatest work comes through the experience of adversity and struggle... I will admit as an artist that at times, sadness and pain is beautiful. Nevertheless,your grounded truth was profoundly stated...

Nadia said...

As I read this blog I kept thinking 'YES!!'. This is exactly what Lindsey needs to hear - you have acknowledged and honored her gift and her deserving a life unplagued by leechs of all kinds, and yet told her bluntly what she needs to do to be safe, healthy, ALIVE, and the beautiful vibrant talent that we all knew her to be years back in her earlier youth.

I hope she reads your blog. If she does, I believe it will save her life.

Danielle said...

YOUR ONE SMART MO-FO....MAYBE SHE'LL ACTUALLY READ THIS AND TAKE IT TO HEART... I think you did a wonderful, unselfish thing here...

Mary Pereira said...

I hope Lindsay finds hope in your words. She is an amazing talent and hopefully will rise to the top again unjaded and peaceful within herself.

Mary Pereira
Naugatuck, Ct

cuzicanthatsy41 said...

I think that was an awesome letter!! I could be biased because I am also in recovery,but oh well lol....
I must tell you that I absolutely love your show SOA and that also,I hope that Lyndsay reads your letter and gets the help she so desperately needs!!
Have an awesome day!!
Your sister in recovery
Yvette E

Kirk Diggler said...

Dude you are a legend.
I love your words and although I have no frame of reference to echo your words, I do echo your sentiment.

Good luck to Lindsey in her future career, I'd like to see some good come out of all this for you.

ELFrac6326 said...

Wow... I really hope that some how, some way this lands in her lap and that she reads it and takes it to heart. You pull no punches, come from a good place and speak from experience. I too hope that she learns and grows from this and comes out swinging.

hillie16 said...

Very kind words, Kurt, and as always, honest and sincere. Exactly what I've come to expect and look forward to. Hope she ends up reading it somehow.

Jordan said...

Well said my friend.

Steven Wright said...

Kurt....(and Lindsay more importantly) Kuddos for a well written and well thought out op peice on the upcoming time for you. Life changing indeed. Thought provoking, I damn sure hope so. Make the most of the time to reflect and plan. Sort out for yourself who and what is really important to you. Eliminate and avoid the rest when you are out...

To borrow and un-named quote "When writing the story of your life....don't let anyone else hold the pen"!

Good luck.

alex said...

No one could of said it better than you Kurt. I hope the LL reads this blog. I wish health and happiness for her in her future. Everyone deserves a chance to be happy. :) best wishes to you and your family Kurt! Keep up the great work!

Alexandria W.

Chris said...

Very nice Kurt. I wish she could read that. I wish she could take that to heart.

I have 6 kids who range in age from 28 down to 7. We live in Kansas. Being a teenager/young adult is hard enough in a "normal" atmosphere...not that Hollywood is abnormal but, yeah, it is.

I cannot imagine what these young celebrities are up against. If we had more people trying to give help, give advice, be a good role model etc. it might be easier for them. It seems the only kind of attention they receive after making mistakes (and EVERY kid does) is negative media attention......I use the term "media" very loosely there.

Anyway, I think Hollywood needs more of the adults in the business mentoring/advising the younger set. BUT, I'm guessing that teenagers there and ones here in KS really aren't that different in that they don't listen if they don't want to.

Kudos to you and Katey on insisting your kids finish college.

As always, love your honesty.

Chris

PS- I sure would love to see Katey on Twitter or with her own blog. She's an awesome woman.

GB, RN said...

It's a damn shame that she has spiraled in this manner, because as you said, she exhibited great talent in her younger years.

Her parents disgust me. Her fame-whoring, enabler parents. I'd like to think that if they cared more about her as a daughter than a meal ticket, she might not be in this situation.

RoguePope said...

Way to go, Kurt. I hope this hits home for Lindsay. She has a wonderful gift, and I look forward to her sharing that talent with us.

Yours and Robert Downey Jr.s experiences are great examples for sobriety and the path back from Hell.

Cheers bro.

Anonymous said...

Kurt, this is truly a great post. While I cannot relate at all to the opportunities, both good and bad, made to Ms. Lohan, it is plain as day that she currently has no one of substance in her life, nor has she probably ever. I hope she both reads and heeds your words, as youth and talent are horrible things to waste. It would truly be a sin for her to go down the well-trodden path of child-star cliche. I pray to God she doesn't. Again, great sentiments, thank you for sharing.

AJ in Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I hope Lindsay reads this and feels what you are putting across.

Stephanie said...

This is amazing and gives me a whole new insight as to who you are Kurt. Thank you. I wish this could broad casted

AuntD said...

wow. I don't know you, but you have a very generous soul. It takes a lot for someone to reach out to others in pain, especially when you don't know them and tell them they are valuable rather than to find glee in the suffering of others. Your letter to a troubled and let's face it lost girl, after what the mediaverse has said about you, is just beautiful, and should be a lesson to all of us.

No matter what the media/blogosphere says about you, you sir are a gentleman.

Barclay Berg said...

Kurt put it very eloquently and all I would add is that it is her life, in her hands. Make the most of it. The other thing is excuses are like assholes, everyone's got one! Don't use the past as a crutch, use it more as a stepping stone to the rest of your life.

Shawn said...

Let's see if the critics read and talk about this post... For her sake, I hope they do. I feel the same as you. No one can know what it is like to walk in her shoes, live her life; not the rag writers, not the paparazzi, not the so-called-experts, not even her family! I hope she reads your open-letter and finds some solace and wisdom in your words. I got chills reading the compassion of one human to another and have said it before, you being human. Celebrity is a tough road for the strongest of adults, much less children. I hope she pulls through this without giving into the circus and just concentrates on allowing herself a life and learns to keep some things for herself. While she was dating an actor friend of mine, people tore her to shreds. People on the streets! They don't know her anymore than they know the man in the moon. Who are we to make judgments’ on someone else’s life choices? I sent the letter to her and hope she reads it with an open and clear mind in order to actually see the message.

Thanks again for being so generous with your words and compassion.

Christina LeMarr & Susan Hanson said...

Perfectly said!

Cavu said...

I wish I was as clever as you. I'm sure it must have inconveniences but man it make you look good at the end of an article.

(Excuse my english)

Samantha S said...

Kurt, I bow my head to you for being a bigger person and noting and stating what needs to be said instead of what the rags say. She is a young girl who has lost her way, as many of us do. I myself was an addict, and I strive everyday to stay sober and to try with all my might, not just for me but for my kids. Everyone finds it so easy to point the finger and say what an aweful disgrace Lindsay is, but bravo to you for saying the truth of the matter, and letting her know she is still very talented, and she can rise above and have the last laugh. Thank you Kurt, for being one of the very last few who have a heart.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is I completely agree with you Kurt and I sincerely hope that Lindsay gets a chance to read this.

hell, maybe she'll be grateful for the breath of fresh air you've offered and do a guest spot on SOA. Even if she doesn't I hope she reads your words and takes something meaningful to heart.

Lisa Blayney said...

If only more people like you were around her rather than the soul sucking sycophants, maybe she wouldn't have had to hurt this bad or sink this low. Maybe this will be the turning point. I truly hope she reads this and listens because I don't think there is anyone around her that cares as much as you do. Isn't that truly sad? I hope for the best for her and bless you for reaching out.

Paul G said...

No harsh words of criticism from me...I agree with all the points raised.
Only those who've been over the edge,truly know where it is,and the need not to go over it again!!
Please keep blogging Kurt,honesty is all too rare nowadays.
Greetings from Ireland.

Firehawk said...

Well said sir,and I do hope she reads this and hopefully she can reflect on it

indianacat aka lowecat said...

Mr. Sutter;

Well said, well written, and so very true.

Anyone and everyone who reads this should print it, and send copies to Ms. Lohan, her agent, her attorney, and her parents.

If only she has the ears to hear and the eyes to see your words of wisdom.

Mark said...

John Malkovich once said, on Acting, "that with (artistic) freedom comes a great deal of responsibility."

John Holzman said...

Kurt,

As always you find the truth of the matter. I wish there was a way for any of us to get this massage out to so many people... (Not just Lindsay Lohan, but countless others.)

I have had (and am still dealing with) problems from alcohol. Some days are better than others.

I think that you have written a powerful statement of support. Especially citing Robert Downey, Jr., as an example. And, as always, you have given something of yourself in a personal example.

You continue to amaze me and earn my respect, Mr. Sutter. (And to Katey, you are the greatest and most under-rated actress working today! The way you completely through yourself into a role is beyond words. I think season 2 of SOA really showed everyone how incredible you can be!)

My best wishes to everyone.

John

MauiDot@hawaii.rr.com said...

Kurt, it's nice to hear about real recovery. There are so many of us who have integrated into life. Your letter to Lindsay was very touching and full of truths. RECOVERY WORKS! Bravo, Dot

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

Yes. That. Exactly.

Wendie said...

KS:
I am a girl who had a father who started a bike club, 'Hells Outcasts' in MN, ended up dating member of said club, endured years of alcoholism and abuse,and have finally found peace in an european country (even though they are a season behind, they show SOA...so cool...)as a freelance writer and tech consultant. I started out hiding in the closet when dad came home drunk from bike runs, lived with a girlfriend to get away from the club for six months (while paying rent on my own place) and then finally found someone who could party without giving up normal life...I was lucky I guess. I wasn't in the public spotlight, but then, with that comes a bunch of opportunity I didn't have...come on grow the fuck up.

I read your blog faithfully, love your cool wife and wish that Jax didn't wear white fucking tennis shoes, what fucking biker wears white tennis shoes, but I digress ~ you are right on with the advice, however, that girl just ain't there yet, poor thing. In her defense, she had no one to guide her, but hell, I'm not there in her world, so i don't know. All I know is that when you have talent and the opportunity to do so much with your life, why do drugs? Wouldn't being high on life be enough?
LINDSAY ~ ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE GIRL!

Regiane said...

You're a good man. Guess nobody would write these words to her, not even her father or her family.

You deserve all the good things that are happening in your life.

Grande abraço!
Regiane

cycleryder said...

Wow seems like the advice I gave to a girl (the daughter of a friend) a few days ago. She is no celebrity, still being talked about amongst her "friends" and on the same path that Lindsey is currently on. My hope is that these words can reach them and the result will be them being here with us for a long time. Peace brother.

Anonymous said...

Rock it Kurt....hope she follows you and reads it. But more importantly, you gave me food for thought, that I may say to my son. So thank you and can hardly wait for SOA.

Anonymous said...

im a photographer in Portland OR and ive had many opportunity to get messed up photo's , but i choose not for i know what her shoes could fill like. i dont think you could have said it any better Kurt. if i was a praying man Lindsay i would pray for you. all the best.

raiznhail said...

This is Why I continue to read your posts. It was well said. Period. Your letter to Lindsey blew me away. Think more people can gain from this including Lindsey. Hope it hit home for her. Keep doin what ur doin. love and respect, Brenda

Parthenians said...

Tears, Kurt..ordinary as shadow and just as real..

Jacob Cristobal said...

It's such honest words Mr. Sutter like these along with your incredible show are why you have the following that you do.

Outsider said...

Lindsay's a real Anti Hero even with her looks. I don't agree with you though Kurt and that's one of the reasons why I'll never make your rolodex, one of the reasons. Sometimes "It's better to burn out than Fade Away" as Neil Young said. Not that I wish that on Lindsay. I've developed a real sympathy for Lindsay as I did for Winona Ryder when she went through this. But honestly It's just wrong to say that Prison is a blessing in disguise. That's an idea the police state would love to have you subscribe to. And it's not a character building place nor a cloistered, sequestered church for the Monastic to have an epiphany. It's the brute end of the police state and the inquisition's pit. You might as well put her in the Marines and ask her to kill. The gladiator school prison system hardens or breaks people especially on the men's side. The entire penal system is part of the criminalization of the poor and the misfit.
Further there is one example you cite that I know to be only the appearance and not the truth...but I can't go further on that subject.
Anyway...I respectfully disagree with your
Conclusions. It's not as simple as an 'either or'
to me that is chain letter warning type thinking...do as I do/say and prosper spiritually and materially...do not do as I do/say and fall into the abyss

Mary McGee said...

Your letter is one that I hope Lindsay reads. She is a young girl who has so many years ahead of her to do well and hopefully she will. This girl had so little parental guidence that is sad. I have seen what can happen to children who do not have someone guiding them along the way. I grew up in the Bronx, NY during the 80's and have seen my fair share of kids go down the wrong path because there were no parents around. If she wants to, she can get things together and still have a chance to use her talents.

Brandon said...

Mass Respect...

Alexandra said...

Hmm... interesting.. Your post speaks volumes about your state of mind. "They" really got to you, huh? It's cool to see someone in your position become introverted self-reflect, and then sympathetic to people who share that feeling of being victimized by the hell that Hollywood success brings. We all are better people because of the hell we have gone through. I may be reading into your letter to Lindsey. You may not feel like that at all, but I prefer to think you do. Trying to figure you out is what makes me enjoy your blog. Because I have never and probably will never meet you, it adds to my imagination of the kind of person you are. Face it, you are the hero of your very own show, entertain us. Anyway, you have great advice for Lindsey, but I am mostly writing to tell you that I'm grateful that I have the pleasure of reading virtual snapshots of your evolution. Thanks, alex.

Geoff said...

props brother, I feel the concern and I respect your sharing. I just hope she reads it.

Godsgirl1974 said...

Yes.....Preach it, Brother!

Laurie said...

that's one smart and compassionate 17 year old...love u kurt.

Laurie Turbeville

Hannah Smith said...

Too bad her own parents can't be as articulate and honest with her.

The Middle Sister said...

This post is why I am now 'Following' you (that sounds stalkerish, sorry didn't mean I am outside your window or anything!)

Thee-middlesister.

Blair said...

I could give a flying fuck about Lindsay, but as always I read your post, and like I do most of the time, I really enjoyed it.
But this time it was for a different reason. I have been dealing with addiction, and have been in and out of recovery groups for ten years now. I was moved by your words, reading it as if written for me, except the being famous part, and was greatful that you wrote about your own struggles and how proud you are of your sober time. I respect you as a writer and person, and do so more now.
Thank you for your words of strength.

howardsfv said...

Kurt, thanks for the open letter, but I think it could be an open letter to everyone in recovery and everyone who needs to be in recovery.
I have 4 1/2 years clean and sober, they tell me in 6 more months I will hear a pop, that would be my head coming out of my ass, I can't wait.
In the last couple of years I have had so many great things happen, one was being able to work on SOA and meet you, and become friends with so many on the show. The other things have to do with dealing with life on life's terms and having fun with this thing called reality.
I really liked your message in the letter, this is the stuff I need to hear. Much L&R, and by the way, you have always been nothing but nice and kind to me.
Sorry to blow you cover.
Howard Levine

Anonymous said...

Kurt thank you for this. As a mother I watch these poor neglected souls try to feel their way threw life while the vulgeget rs pick away at them and make money off of their mistakes. No one, not even parents, trying to help them and it breaks my heart. If only you could speak these words directly to this remarkable young woman I am sure you and Katy could get through to her. Please just keep being you.
We all need you. Pam from San Antonio TX

tim said...

Reading your post leaves me with a similar high as a kick ass meeting!! Awesome insight mr sutter. Its very cool that someone like you has made it to the level to reach those of us who can learn from you. I find that how I handle my past shapes my today. Blaming others enables me to continue unhealthy behavior by never accepting responsibility for my current actions. Blaming or attempting to control people places or things keeps me from being a good hubby, dad, friend, emloyee etc. Maintaining sobriety is a daily fight to keep me from getting "my way" which has led me to jails institutions and death if I don't stay on top. Again, kurt thank you for letting us get to know you. Soa s3 will be much deaper as we have gotten to know the man behind it. Keep coming back!!

Whitey said...

Beautiful words Kurt-you can speak the truth because you-as many of us-have been there. I pray that she might stumble upon this blog and really soak in their meaning. One thing I love about being on your set is the number of my brothers and sisters in recovery that I have the pleasure of hanging out with as we shoot your show-and Robs food. I will pray for Lindsay. I believe that I was prayed into the rooms-Whitey

Outsider said...

To Err is Human...To Disagree...Divine!!

MarkyMark7024 said...

Kurt, what makes you unique, you're a consistent realist. And you don't sugar coat it. Kurt I'm headed to Iraq in 2 days. Any way we can get SoA premiered over there as well? There is a base theatre... thanks for you blog!

kalipornia said...

"Every good thing in my life -- let me say that again -- every good thing in my life -- is a result of working a program of recovery."

me too, dude. me too.

holymotherofgod said...

I certainly hope this is read by Ms Lohan. Completely well said, well founded and well meaning commentary.

Anonymous said...

Your blog post is a message of hope to any young person struggling with addiction. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. It is a hand reaching out to one young talented actress but really, one can insert anyone's name in that space. Well written, compassionate. Thank you. Lisa V

505keepinitlive said...

Lindsay you have so much talent girl and you are so beautiful. Your career can only can go up!!!

Kurt! You rock brother!! Can't wait for season 3. Love the blog. Hope this finds you and your family well.

Tess Foley said...

What I kind thing to do to write this letter to Lindsay. I hope that someone got it to her--It is FILLED with truth. What Lindsay doesn't realize is that it is painful for anyone with a good mind and a true heart to watch her fall apart before our eyes, and at the hands of Parent-Parasites and others. If her own parents refuse to build a line of defense to help their own daughter, who will?
I hope Lindsay finds it in herself to pull herself up and out. It was good of you to write this for her.
She should tack it to her wall and read it everyday.
Tess Foley

Heather A said...

Kurt,

You have a very beautiful and powerful spirit. THANK YOU for sharing yourself and your talents with us, and for offering wisdom and love to the world (even when/if it isn't accepted).

After I (very) briefly described the show to a friend the other day, she asked if it was a reality show. My response was, "Hell, NO!" But honestly, SOA is probably the most real show on TV. Again, thank you.

Love to you, Katey, and all the SOA family...
Heather:)

Cicero said...

Dear Kurt,

I really wish we were buds. You're pretty much the sanest voice in Hollywood right now, even with all your wishes to decapitate evil media jerks.

I'd let you kick some sense into me any day.

Thanks for being awesome,

your friend Cicero

clay said...

Kurt,

That is very ,Very Admirable for you to show care for another of whom you owe nothing to. You,Your Wife and your blog are a great influence on the entertainment community.. That was a sweet and heart felt post to Lindsay Lohan. I too beleive she can rise above all this shit, i am a recovering Heroin/meth/weed/any fuckin thing i can do addict. and it is hard. no treatment facility will help IF YOU ARE NOT READY TO GIVE THE SHIT UP!, i have 6yrs and almost9months clean and sober.. my kids and wife are my high now.. family is the perfect remedy for the sickness---well let me put it like this--kids and a GOOD SOBER loving wife and family are the support that one needs...well for me anyhow. I wish MISS Lohan All The God Given Help and Luck in this world...

As for you MR.Sutter, this shows just how good of a man you are,caring and empathetic for other in need of some sort of direction...
From one Addict to another,
Thankyou (you probably saved her life)

Clay