‘Free Lindsay’ Rally Turns Out To Be A Tanning Salon’s Sad Publicity Stunt

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We were excited about what seemed to be the first “Free Lindsay” rally today, but disappointed when it turned out to be a sleazy publicity stunt by Beach Bum Tanning, at the Chelsea salon she apparently frequents when she's in New York City.

The rally began with three skinny girls sporting bellybutton rings and cropped white tees with a photo of Lindsay Lohan and a Beach Bum Tanning logo. They cheered “free Lindsay!” with little to no enthusiasm, as photographers snapped photos of them. “Could you maybe look a little less miserable?” a photographer begged. Given their looks, they easily could have been Beach Bum employees, but they weren't. “I'm a publicity model,” Shana Marchetti, 26, told me. When asked why Lindsay should be freed, another model Andi Ventreti, also 26, could only produce her opinion that “Lindsay makes funny movies.”

Some equally unenthusiastic employees joined the girls in among the lamest cheers I've ever heard. The homemade-looking signs were a nice touch, in making the rally seem moderately believable. But still, not that believable.

At this point, “Airbrush Director” of Beach Bum, Dante Fitzpatrick, who claimed to be a close friend of the Lohan's, gave a sad and sappy speech that basically said, blah blah blah our business has gone to the gutter now that Lindsay isn't around to bake herself in an artificial tanning bed.  He was wearing a fedora/Panama hat, which seemed like an odd choice for someone who is paid by a tanning salon. What, the real sun ain't good enough for ya? “She's just a really great girl. I think she gets a lot of bad press, a lot of bad hype because of her celebrity status, and we know her, like I said, she's been coming here for ten years,” Dante said. FYI, if she had been a patron for ten years that would mean she starting tanning when she was 14. Just saying.

At some point, someone even asked me if I wanted to tan inside. No thanks!

Then the whole crowd of faux Lindsay supporters marched up and down the sidewalk so that photographers could get their shots and a homeless guy on the street kept yelling, “She should just go to rehab!” Meanwhile, another guy, Todd Shapiro, who was wearing all black, was telling everyone where to walk and how to stand. Dude, it's a rally, let the people protest! Except this wasn't really a rally at all because everyone, down to the reporters and photographers, was being paid to be there. Todd at first said he was “Spokesperson for Beach Bum Tanning,” but it was later revealed that he is actually a PR dude who doesn't work for Beach Bum at all. He claimed he would pull up a text from Dina Lohan, who he “had spoken to yesterday,” but he produced no such text on his phone. “Why would I make that up though?” he said.

Then, out of nowhere, Angelina Pivarnick from the Jersey Shore showed up! And she handcuffed herself to the models from earlier on, in a moment of solidarity for Lindsay. “I hung out with Lindsay at the MTV Movie Awards,” she said.

One guy from the street started singing a harmonized rendition of the “Free Lindsay” chant, which was pretty much the highlight of the whole ordeal.