"I've made a lot of poor decisions in the past and I'm dealing with the consequences with those decisions," Lohan, 24, said as she sat down with the "The Tonight Show" host. "But I'm a fighter and I know that I have to work to gain the respect back. I'm willing to do the work I have to do to follow through with being an actress."
The troubled actress was greeted with a standing ovation as she walked on the stage while taping the interview Monday. It was the first interview she has given since she was sentenced to four months in jail last week.
Lohan on Her Sentence
The actress told Leno that said she could not discuss details of the case because it was still pending but said she was shocked by the sentence.
"I didn't really expect the outcome to be what it was," she said. "But I'm a big girl and I'm going to do what I'm told to do and that's what I'm going to do to continue on with working in my life. I'm taking responsibility."
A Los Angeles judge sentenced Lohan to 120 days in prison Friday for violating her probation by allegedly stealing a $2,500 necklace.
It was a charge the judge reduced from felony grand theft to a misdemeanor.
Lohan's attorneys appealed the jail sentence -- her fourth since 2007 -- and she was freed on bond after a few hours behind bars.
When asked whether she thought she was treated fairly, she said she thought she was treated the way she should have been.
The actress told Leno her time in jail was "an interesting experience and it was definitely a wake-up call."