The photo, which has been circulating the Internet for months and can be seen in the Grapevine section of the October issue, shows the “Mean Girls” star talking on a rhinestone-studded cell phone as her right nipple escapes her rainbow-colored tank top.
Publicist Leslie Sloan says she was 17 at the time.
“That photo is despicable and disgusting," Sloan told XBiz. “She was absolutely underage when that was taken.”
Sloan said Lohan was born in 1986 and didn’t celebrate her 18th birthday until July 2. The photograph was originally published in British tabloid The Star and posted on Internet website ThatsJustNotRight.com as early as May 9.
According to Santa Monica attorney Roger Jon Diamond, the implications of Playboy publishing an underage photo are unclear.
“If they have a reasonable, good-faith belief that the person was over 18 when the photo was taken, however, they’re probably pretty safe,” Diamond said, adding that the last time a similar situation happened was a number of years ago with the Traci Lords movies.
“They were stocked throughout the country and everybody thought she was 18," Diamond said. "When it came out that she wasn’t, stores quickly dumped their stock. Most distributors, to play it safe, should ask photographers for the subject’s age and when the photo was taken however."
Representatives for Playboy were not available to comment.
Lohan recently thrust into the spotlight as the star of teen comedy “Mean Girls,” has also appeared in “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” and opposite Jamie Lee Curtis in Disney’s 2004 remake of “Freaky Friday.” Her career began as a Ford model at the age of three.
Lohan also has a five-album production deal with Estefan Enterprises.