08/31/2013 03:41 pm ET

Lindsay Lohan Clarifies Venice Film Festival Absence: 'My Focus Is On My Health And Well-Being'


Lindsay Lohan is defending herself against those critical of her absence at the Venice Film Festival, where her new movie "The Canyons" premiered on Friday. In a message the actress posted on her website, Lohan said she never confirmed she was attending the festival and that she must place her current focus elsewhere.

"Of course, I would have enjoyed returning to that wonderful city and being a part of this amazing event, but my focus is on my health and well-being," Lohan writes. "Plain and simple, it is of the utmost importance."

Speculations ran wild after director Paul Schrader seemed to make disparaging remarks about his work with the actress. When asked at a press conference why Lohan wasn't present for the premiere, Shrader said, "For the last 16 months, I've been hostage, by own choosing, to a very talented but unpredictable actress. She was supposed to be here today. She said she would be, but she is not."

Lohan had already expressed her support for her "Canyons" colleagues from across international lines, but this time she felt it necessary to be more specific about the situation. A message posted Wednesday on her website read, "I wish I could be there to celebrate with you in Venice. Paul Schrader, @braxtonpope, @JamesDeen could not have done it without you."

We're confident Lohan means it when she says her clean bill is of utmost importance at the moment, but we suspect another force is at play here: Oprah Winfrey. In her widely watched interview with Lohan, the talk-show queen strongly urged the actress not to go to Italy, though her initial plans were broader than attending the festival. Lohan said she would seriously consider Winfrey's suggestion. After all, no one ignores Oprah.



Lindsay Lohan