According to USAToday, Hugh Hefner has announced plans to release the long-awaited Lindsay Lohan Playboy pictures early, thanks to an Internet leak that's all but eliminated the magazine's exclusivity.

Oddly, the release was initially scheduled to occur on December 15 during the Ellen DeGeneres. Now, according to a tweet from Hefner's official Twitter account, the issue will be released as early as next week.

Originally made famous by Disney films, Lohan is now best known for a long line of alcohol-related arrests and probation violations. Though she claims to have agreed to pose nude for Playboy magazine because she found the experience empowering, many have suggested that she is in financial trouble.

Photos available via search

In response to the unexpected leak, Hefner opted to release the original cover spread early, saying that he hoped to take advantage of the buzz and popularity of Lohan's name in Internet search engines.

Originally, Hefner and Playboy hoped the Christmas release would result in a huge financial windfall. Unfortunately, the photos were leaked by an unknown inside source and now appear on several websites, including Highsnobiety.com.

Although Playboy's spread will undoubtedly rise to the top of search results, the magazine will undoubtedly lose a significant amount of revenue due to the early release. According to sources close to Hefner, the famed magazine publisher is infuriated and plans a large-scale investigation to find the person responsible for the leak.


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