Lindsay Lohan is doing court-ordered community service in Brooklyn.
The beleaguered celebrity who grew up on Long Island is working at Duffield Children's Center in Fort Greene Wednesday to fulfill part of the 125 hours of community service she was ordered to complete for reckless driving and lying to police in California in 2012.
She previously performed service there in August of 2014.
U.S. & World
While the paparazzi waited out front, Lohan slipped in through the back of the building Wednesday morning and said she was ready to work. NBC 4 New York cameras were the only ones inside the center as Lohan began her service.
Lohan spent most of her first day in a small office making sure the children's files were up to date and contained all the required federal forms. She also shredded old papers that no longer needed to be kept in files.
The New York Post reported that the center sent a letter to parents at the center letting them know Lohan would be at the center, adding that she'd "never be left alone."
“As with any volunteer, this would be under constant supervision from the classroom teacher and Duffield staff. Please know that all requirements for this volunteer work will be met, prior to her entering the classroom. Furthermore, volunteers are never left alone with children,” the letter says, according to the Post.
The Duffield center said it's been disappointed by news reports questioning their decision to let her perform her service there. NBC 4 New York has visited Duffield several times over the years, reporting on budget cuts to child care and other challenges the center faces. Lohan is not the only volunteer who performs court-ordered community service at the early childhood center.
"When we are asked to open our doors, we do it," said Duffield Director Ivonne Lopez. "To support those who need it; two, because it's a service; and three, it's exposure."
The program needs all the help it can get, Lopez said, including more hands in the classroom and more attention for its children. Lohan, like other volunteers, will undergo medical and welfare clearances before working with supervision in the classroom.
At the center Wednesday, Lohan embraced 5-year-old Donovan Illery, who remembered her from when she first volunteered there two years ago.
"Lindsay is my friend," he said.
The boy stared blankly when asked if he was aware that she was famous, but he did seem to be broadly aware of the media's obsession with her troubles, saying, "A lot of reporters say bad things about her," which he said was "so, so disappointing."
Lohan's volunteer work comes just weeks after a judge told her she would face "consequences" if she didn't finish the remaining hours by May 28. She's completed less than 10 hours of the court-mandated service.
If she blows the deadline and prosecutors ask that she be found in violation of probation, they plan to ask for jail time.
Santa Monica Deputy City Attorney Melanie Skehar was skeptical Lohan could accomplish the steep task ahead of her in the next three weeks.
"Is it possible? It's possible. Is it probable? No," Skehar said outside court after a hearing in early May. "When you have a responsibility and you know what you have to complete by a certain date, there's no excuse."
The once-promising star of "Mean Girls," whose career has sputtered and been overshadowed by legal troubles, could face up to a year and a half behind bars.
The actress ran into trouble earlier this year when her attorney presented proof she completed 240 hours of community service with a charity in London, where she now lives.
After the prosecutor criticized Lohan for receiving credit for meeting fans of a stage production of "Speed-the-Plow," which she appeared in, Young rejected 125 hours and ordered her to complete them later this month.
The case is the final criminal matter Lohan faces in Los Angeles, where she was first arrested in a driving under the influence and drug possession case in 2007 and later charged with stealing a necklace from a Venice jewelry store.
She has struggled to comply with terms of her sentences. She has been sentenced to jail five times, ordered to work in the Los Angeles morgue and sent to court-mandated rehab several times.
Her assignment at Duffield has created extra work for the staff, who have spent hours on the phone with her attorneys, publicists and California court officials. They've been trying to finalize the details of Lohan's service, including how many hours a day she would be able to work and how she would enter and leave the building.
Lopez also said she had requested help from the NYPD to keep the entrance to the school clear of media but police were not on the scene Wednesday morning.
Donovan's mom, Rasha Ogunyemi, said she didn't have a problem with Lohan serving at her son's child center: "She's a regular person. She's dealing with her issues."
Another parent, Kameal Mitchell, agreed, saying, "If she's serving the community, it shouldn't be a problem."
But she was visibly annoyed by the media circus outside her daughter Kailah's school.
"They're knocking the parents down, trying to get in the building," she said.
Lohan has said that working with children felt less like punishment than other community service assignments she has performed. While Lohan works to get her life back on track, she tweeted today that she hoped she could make a difference in the children's lives.