Michael Lohan, father of actress Lindsey Lohan, is trying to pitch a reality TV show involving a drug treatment center for women based on a luxury yacht. He already shot a pilot of one episode in Fort Lauderdale using a borrowed yacht and a dozen girls from a local center.
That's according to a former patient at the Cove Center for Recovery in Fort Lauderdale. The patient, who asked that his name not be used, says Lohan teamed up with
the Cove's owners to develop the pilot.
Lohan couldn't be reached for comment, and the owners of the center, Chris and Karen Walsh, didn't return multiple phone calls.
According to the former patient:
Lohan came to the shelter in April to recruit the half-dozen women there to take part in the show. They were told that they could be paid if the show is picked up by a network, and Lohan told them the Travel Channel was interested. The women agreed, and in late August, they were picked up at 8 a.m. and taken to a borrowed yacht.
They spent the day staging scenes, with the girls being told to act out emotional interactions with one another, sometimes with several takes. They didn't return until 10 o'clock that night.
On April 1, celebrity website X17 reported that Lohan was looking to create a drug treatment center based entirely on a yacht. Lohan told the site the yacht would hold eight guests and six staff and would set sail out of Fort Lauderdale. In the article, Lohan doesn't mention the plan to film a TV show based on the yacht.
The former patient says he came forward with details about the reality TV show because he feared Lohan had taken advantage of the women. "The only thing I wanted to get out there is that Lohan isn't starting a rehab facility. He's trying to exploit these girls."
The former patient was at the Cove for 30 days for substance abuse, a $15,000 treatment covered by his insurance. He says other patients objected to the idea of the reality show, mostly because Alcoholics Anonymous is founded on the principle of anonymity.
If the show is picked up, it isn't the first time the Cove would be featured on TV. The owners of the Cove appeared on an episode of the Dr. Phil show with one of their patients who was refusing treatment. In the episode, the couple agrees to take the girl back into their center for free for up to a year to help her recover.
The former patient who spoke to the Pulp said that he was happy with his time at the center and that its employees had helped him kick his addictions. But he said he spoke up for fear that the Cove and Lohan were unfairly treating women who could appear on the show. "They had three girls in that group who were all about 18, and I just don't think that's right that they would put them on TV."
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.