Did James Franco help or hurt Lindsay Lohan with 'Bungalow 89' short story?

lindsay-lohan-vice-james-franco-short-story-bungalow-89.jpgJames Franco released his latest James Franco-y thing Tuesday (June 10) in the form of a new short story titled "Bungalow 89." In the piece, which was published to Vice, Franco touches on everything from his relationship to Gus Van Sant to his time on a Gucci billboard in Hollywood to J.D. Salinger's "Nine Stories."

But the true focus of the short story is Lindsay Lohan. It's hard to tell how much of the tale is true and how much of it is embellished for the sake of good fiction, but Franco paints a very specific picture of the troubled Hollywood starlet, for better or worse.

In 2013, Franco described Lohan as a friend on Howard Stern's radio show, but not one he ever slept with. He backs up those allegations in "Bungalow 89," but makes it clear that it's not for lack of Lohan trying.

Here are some selections from the short story:

"Once upon a time a guy, a Hollywood guy, read some Salinger to a young woman who hadn't read him before. Let's call this girl Lindsay. She was a Hollywood girl, but a damaged one. I knew that she would like Salinger, because most young women do.

"[Terry Richardson and I] had this plan to do a book together with photos (him) and poems (me) about the Oscars, and the Chateau and Lindsay Lohan, and we were going to come back to the hotel and do a shoot with Lindsay, who seemed to be doing better at that point but maybe wasn't actually. But I was so unhappy about the Oscars because they had cut my Cher sequence -- I was supposed to sing the song from 'Burlesque,' 'You Haven't Seen the Last of Me,' dressed as Cher -- that I didn't meet with Lindsay for the photos. Later she leaked a false story to the press that Terry was shooting a sex book with her and me.

"Now we were lying in bed. I wasn't going to f*** her. She had her head on my shoulder. She started to talk. I let her. ... 'I took James back to the bathroom. 'You know why Amy put mirrors all around in here?' I said. 'Why?' 'So that you can watch yourself f***.' He didn't f*** me, that s***. And what was he doing there anyway? On my night. My night with Meryl, my night when everything was right, when I got everything I wanted. Almost. I f***ed one of the Greeks instead: a big-schnozzed, big-d***ed, drunk motherf***er. We did it in the bath. That was the best night of my life.'

"I ran my fingers through her hair and thought about this girl sleeping on my chest, our fictional Hollywood girl, Lindsay. What will she do? I hope she gets better. You see, she is famous. She was famous because she was a talented child actress, and now she's famous because she gets into trouble. She is damaged.

"Every night Lindsay looked for me. My Russian friend, Drew, was always around like a wraith. He, like the blond painting, was my doppelganger, writing scripts about rape and murder. A Hollywood Dostoyevsky, he had gambled his money away. We played a ton of ping-pong. My room was on the second level, the exterior walls hugged by vines. Every night Lindsay looked for me, and I hid. Out the window was Hollywood."

The full story has more anecdotes regarding Lohan, and tries to offer some insight into her relationship with her family, friends and Hollywood. Clearly Franco is trying to paint a picture of Hollywood and celebrity and its vampiric nature (his comparison). 

But what good does this do for Lohan, a woman Franco describes as a friend, who is trying to get back on her own two feet? Does this story victimize her, or only highlight her as the "high hellion" she was thought to be? Ultimately, does "Bungalow 89" hurt Lohan, or help her? Hopefully people end up deciding the latter, or else Franco is not a very good friend.

Photo/Video credit: Richard Phillips for Vice