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Lindsay Lohan's inspiring journey: from troubled child star to thriving mom-to-be

The Freaky Friday star is expecting her first child with her husband Bader Shammas

Lindsay Lohan smiling wide with flowers behind her
Hannah Watkin
Hannah WatkinContent Writer
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Thanks to Lindsay Lohan's starring roles in such iconic films as The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday and Mean Girls, not to mention her recent Netflix comeback movie Falling for Christmas, she's been immortalized in the minds of many. Of course, beyond the characters she's played, the former child star also has her very own fascinating story to tell.

Following on from her early acting successes in the 2000s, the New York City-born talent struggled with the pressures of fame at an early age while the ever-present attention of the tabloid press made her struggles clear for all to see. But Lindsay has succeeded to rise above those formidable challenge and is now thriving professional and personally, too.

Lindsay Lohan smiling on the Tonight Show© Getty Images
Lindsay Lohan in 2022

Ahead of her 37th birthday and the birth of her and her husband Bader Shammas' first child, join HELLO! as we chart the Sick Note actress' inspiring story.

Lindsay Lohan's early life

Born in the Bronx to Michael and Dina Lohan, Lindsay can trace her claim to fame from when she was as young as three years old, when she was signed to the legendary modelling agency Ford Models. The young star's early life saw her star in several TV commercial campaigns, plus in the soap opera Another World, before she landed her breakout film role in Disney's absolutely beloved remake of The Parent Trap, directed by rom-com queen Nancy Meyers, in 1998.

Lindsay Lohan at The Parent Trap premiere in 1998© Getty Images
Lindsay Lohan at The Parent Trap premiere in 1998

Immediately loved for her naturalistic acting talent and charismatic onscreen personality — not to mention that trademark red hair and freckles — the then 12-year-old was later cast alongside Jamie Lee Curtis in another hugely successful remake, the mother-daughter body switch film Freaky Friday, at the age of 16. A year later she took the lead role in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, plus she starred alongside Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried in 2004's enduringly popular modern classic Mean Girls, a deeply satirical, frequently memed look at high school life.

By now, the young star had garnered huge amounts of worldwide attention due to her record of starring in success after success. However, with this fame came what is now widely recognized as more pressure and scrutiny than any regular 17-year-old should have to manage.

Troubled years

Lindsay Lohan during in 2007© Getty Images
Lindsay Lohan during in 2007

While professionally Lindsay Lohan continued to take lead roles and was branching out to explore other careers like music (she released two LPs in the aughts), the 18-year-old was also beginning to build up a reputation for being a troubled young star. Several reports were published about her being lost in an excessive party lifestyle, and individuals who worked with the young star at the time such as studio executive James G. Robinson began to comment to the press about problems working with the actress on set.

SEE: Lindsay Lohan transforms into a glamorous mom-to-be in stunning new photos

It became public knowledge that, by the time she was 20, Lindsay was struggling with addiction, leading to stressful film sets, canceled projects, and rehab stays. At the same time, the previous box office hit winner's films began to fail at the box office and win her less than rave reviews, all of which didn't appear to help her already troubled state.

Lindsay Lohan sat looking to her right thoughtfully© Getty Images
Lindsay Lohan attends a probation hearing in 2012

From 2007 onwards, Lindsay began to gain a reputation for the many occasions in which she was arrested for offenses including suspicion of driving under the influence and the possession of drugs. But in 2012, despite the fact that most of the public and press' narrative had turned against Lindsay, she showed strength as she began to emerge out of her low period.

Beating the bad habits

In 2013 and 2014, Lindsay Lohan took on many projects in both film and television as well as her first ever West End role in Speed the Plow as she tried to reconstruct her image on the worldwide stage as a serious actress. Her performances received mixed reviews, as did her brief stint as the focus of the reality TV show Lindsay on Opera Winfrey's OWN network, however the former child star was still successfully beginning to take back control of her image and career.

 Lindsay Lohan smiling while singing on a stage© Getty Images
Lindsay Lohan performing with Duran Duran in 2015

In 2018, Lindsay's recurring role in the Sky One series Sick Note gained her increasingly positive attention for her work, and this was followed by some more reality TV roles. This included her stint on MTV's Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club which revealed more about her involvement as the founder of an Athens based beach club.

DISCOVER: Lindsay Lohan shares heartfelt message as she rests at home during pregnancy

As well as diversifying her projects, Lindsay life also improved when she made the decision to move from her home in Hollywood to the United Arab Emirates in 2014. Speaking with Vogue in 2022, the actress revealed that the move to Dubai had allowed her to make a fresh start, and that the location was very helpful for her journey. "I got there, and I felt a certain sense of calm," she said. "I think it's because paparazzi is illegal there. I really found that I had a private life, and I could just take time for myself."

Lindsay Lohan smiling while sat on a chat show© Getty Images
Lindsay Lohan in 2019

While Covid got in the way of her returning to her role as a well-liked judge on The Masked Singer, Lindsay's professional career and reputation had by now been effectively restored, and public sympathy had returned in her favor. In 2021, her image was strengthened yet again by her successfully signing on as the lead in Netflix's Christmas romcom Falling for Christmas, and the later news that she would be starring in two more romcoms for the platform in the not-too-distant future.

Happy family life

On April 3, 2022, Lindsay Lohan married her boyfriend of three years Bader Shammas during a private ceremony. The wedding was in fact only announced by the couple on Lindsay's 36th birthday in July 2022 after she revealed in an Instagram caption that her beau was now also her "husband".

Lindsay Lohan and her husband Bader Shammas© Getty Images
Lindsay Lohan and her husband Bader Shammas

It was on Instagram again, this time in March 2023, that Lindsay revealed she was pregnant with her and Bader's first child. "We are so blessed and excited!" she wrote in the caption of her post, which featured a baby grow with the words "Coming soon" printed on its front.

Speaking in November 2022 ahead of her starring role on Netflix, the actress gushed about the support system she now has from her friends, family and especially Bader. "That's the only support that I really need: friends, family, and loved ones," she said, also adding: "I have an amazing husband, who's a very calm person."

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