Lindsay Lohan

Terry Richardson

If Lindsay Lohan thinks flirting with suicide is fashionable, she's got another thing coming.

The troubled starlet sparked an uproar earlier this week among anti-suicide and gun-control activists after she posed with a gun to her head, and in her mouth, for a provocative photo shoot.

So will the controversy endanger Lindsay's vaunted comeback?

The disturbing pics were snapped by Terry Richardson, the fashion photographer best known lately for that viral video of bikini-clad supermodel Kate Upton getting jiggly doing the Cat Daddy.

He posted them to his Tumblr page, Terry's Diary, on Tuesday before abruptly yanking them. But the images were up long enough for advocacy groups to raise concerns over what kind of message it sends to emotionally vulnerable people.

"When a celebrity uses suicide and specifically the means to do it as a joke, it is grossly irresponsible and is a disgrace," Hopeline, a national suicide hotline organization, said an exclusive statement to E! News. "It also must be met with an immediate rebuke from the mental-health community. This is no joking matter. Lives are at stake. 

"We are outraged that Lindsay Lohan and her support system [have] shown such ignorance and lack of care in her use of suicide as a promotional tool to attempt to gain public attention," the statement continued. "More importantly, she and the rest of the United States should know that using this type of modeling behavior in a public way could cause irreparable harm and even suicide by its cavalier use."

Hopeline did not discount the possibility that the pictures themselves may also be a cry for help from LiLo, who took the pics during a break from filming the Lifetime TV biopic Liz & Dick, in which she plays the late Elizabeth Taylor.

"This is not to be taken lightly," the statement read. "If these photos are her attempt to reach out for help, we as a community also need to be there for her."

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence similarly denounced the images, telling E! News that such a careless "fashion" statement actually does harm to victims of gun violence and their families.

"I don't know if these photos represent a cry for help, or just an exercise in incredibly bad taste, but Lindsay should know that these photos will bring tears to the loved ones of the 18,000 Americans who kill themselves with guns every year," said the organization's Vice President, Dennis Henigan. "Lindsay should get rid of the gun and help spread the life-saving message that countless suicides could be prevented if more Americans did the same."

Lohan's rep, Steve Honig, was mum on the matter. Richardson could not be reached for comment.

—Reporting by Marcus Mulick and Sharareh Drury

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