Playboy releases Lindsay Lohan issue from custody a week early

Dylan Stableford
The Cutline

After photos from Lindsay Lohan's upcoming Playboy pictorial were purportedly leaked last week, founder Hugh Hefner has decided to go ahead and release the whole January/February issue featuring the troubled actress a week early.

A day after the cover made its way to the Internet, the entire 11-page pictorial was posted via a digital magazine site based in the Ukraine--which appears to be what had, in TMZ's words, Playboy executives "freaking out" that their print issue, due to hit newsstands later this month, would be cannibalized.

"Because of the interest [and] the Internet leak," Hefner wrote on Friday from his iPad, "we're releasing the Lindsay Lohan issue early."

The octogenarian laddie mag mogul added on Twitter: "Hot. Hot. Hot." The print magazine will be published on Dec. 16.

On Saturday, Hef and co. put the Lohan issue up online.

"You're just one click away from seeing what the whole world is talking about," a note on reads. "Lindsay Lohan's much-anticipated nude pictorial, only at!"

However, a simple online image search reveals isn't the only place Lohan's spread can be found.

Lohan was paid a reported $1 million to pose for Playboy--which, according to TMZ, was enough to convince the judge in her probation violation case to postpone Lohan's sentencing so she could attend the Marilyn Monroe-inspired photoshoot.

But will the (faux) fuss surrounding Lohan and her Playboy pin-ups even matter?

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Playboy sold an average of 90,333 copies per issue at the newsstand during the first half of 2011--or just six percent of its total paid circulation of 1.5 million copies per issue.

Playboy said it sold about 200,000 copies of its October issue, its best-selling issue of 2011--but that was because it carried a deeply discounted 60-cent cover price, part of a multi-platform marketing ploy surrounding the launch of NBC's "Playboy Club."

The show was canceled after just three episodes.

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