- (Photo: REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo)
Things may finally be looking up for Lindsay Lohan who claims that she is now clean and sober, for real this time.
The 25-year-old actress spoke to Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview that aired on TODAY Thursday morning, telling the host that she wants to "continue to move forward and in the right direction."
"I've grown," she said on the show, adding that she has become wiser.
"The Parent Trap" star has made the headlines throughout the last few years for her alcohol and drug abuse problems, which began in 2007 when she was caught driving under the influence, leading her to enter rehab.
A short while after she was released from therapy, she was arrested again for a second DUI, with police finding a small amount of cocaine in her pocket as well.
The former child star entered into rehabilitation again, resulting in the loss of several movie deals.
Hollywood executives previously commented that Lohan would not be able to find future employment until she could prove that she was sober and reliable.
Late in 2007, the "Mean Girls" actress pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine use and driving under the influence, and was sentenced to one day in jail and 10 days of community service. She was also ordered to pay fines, complete an alcohol education program, and serve a three-year probation period.
Lohan released a statement thereafter saying it was clear to her that her life had become "completely unmanageable" because she was addicted to alcohol and drugs.
Throughout the probation period, however, the pop singer failed to attend mandatory substance abuse classes and other scheduled hearings, causing more jail time, community service and rehab treatment.
When Lauer sat down to talk to the troubled model this week, the first thing he asked was the question that was on everyone's mind: "You clean and sober?"
"Yes, I'm good and I'm clean and sober now," she responded, saying it had been "a long time" since she cleaned up her act.
"I ... have a lot of great people in my life that are in the same position so I can always turn to them and I've had great people that I've can talk to at any time and that have helped me kind of figure myself out."
When asked if she could go to clubs and parties now without suffering temptation, she responded that she could, but she chose not to.
"That's not my thing anymore," Lohan said. "I went out actually a few months ago with a friend and I was so uncomfortable not because I felt tempted just because it was just the same thing that it always was before and it just wasn't fun for me. I've become more of a homebody and I like that."
Lauer also asked the "Freaky Friday" actress if the recent death of Whitney Houston resonated with her on a personal level due to their common substance abuse problems.
"Not really," she stated. "I wouldn't want to go there, that's kind of a scary, morbid thing to discuss."
But she did mention that she, like Whitney and many others, completely fell into the world of substance abuse.
"That's a really scary thing and I've experienced things like that and I've had friends experience things like that and it's a really sad factor that can come into play into people's lives."
"Sometimes if you don't recognize it, you know a lot of people don't like to, and I think I did that for a long time. I think I was scared and I didn't want to admit it to myself let alone anyone else."
Though she was in denial before, the former Abercrombie Kids model admitted that she was now able to deal with her problems and her own addictions and ready to make a sober comeback.
Lohan will be hosting "Saturday Night Live" this Saturday, her first positive step into getting her career, and her life, back on track.
She will also be playing Elizabeth Taylor in an original Lifetime movie titled "Liz and Dick."
"Do you think the producers and directors of movies and television projects are going to get back to the part where they can go, 'You know what? Yeah, we can count on Lindsay. We can bank on her?'" Lauer asked.
"I think that takes time," she admitted. "And I think it takes actions. Because people can say things all they want but I think I still need to go through the process of proving myself, you know, with 'SNL,' being on time, being, you know, keeping my … stuff together."
"I don't want people to have that reason to be scared anymore," Lohan concluded. "So being able to have this opportunity with 'SNL' and the film, I'm gonna do what I'm supposed to do, and enjoy doing it, and do it as best as I can."