Frankly, I can’t believe it happened. No, really. It’s one of the rare instances in my life that I have been rendered speechless. (Luckily, it didn’t affect my ability to type.)
If you haven’t heard the news: Paris Hilton is going to jail.
News agencies from around the world are a buzz with the headline that the hotel heiress/socialite/reality-TV star/party princess/Britney Spears’ BFF is headed to the slammer.
Just a few hours ago, a California judge sentenced Hilton to 45 days in county jail for violating her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case. It’s actually a bit more convoluted than that. Originally, the 26-year-old actress-singer (at least that’s what she considers herself) was sentenced to 36 months probation, alcohol education and $1,500 in fines last year. However, according to court documents, Hilton neglected to enroll in the mandated alcohol education program and was subsequently pulled over twice after her initial arrest. Despite the fact that her license was suspended (she claimed she didn’t realize it was suspended), the socialite kept driving and was subsequently charged with violating her probation.
Today the judge did the unimaginable. Unimaginable to me, because, honestly, I figured if anyone could weasel her way out of violating probation it would be Miss I-have-money-oozing-out-of my-pores. The judge in her case proved me wrong and I gleefully stand corrected.
As it stands now, Paris Hilton, thee Paris Hilton, will be headed to the Century Regional Detention Center, Los Angeles County’s jailhouse for women just south of downtown in Lynwood. What’s more, according to court records she will not be allowed any work release, furloughs, use of an alternative jail or electronic monitoring in lieu of jail. The judge also excluded her from paying to serve time in a jail of her choice (a privilege celebrities such as Zsa Zsa Gabor and Sean Penn have been given in the past).
Several news sources are reporting that Hilton looked “serious” as the judge issued her sentence—a stark contrast to Hilton’s mother’s reaction.
According to news reports, when the judge ruled, Kathy Hilton, blurted out: “May I have your autograph?”
(What is wrong with this family?)
As you may have expected, one of Hilton’s attorneys, Howard Weitzman, said he would appeal.
“I’m shocked, I’m surprised and really disheartened in the system that I’ve worked in for close to 40 years,” Weitzman told reporters after the hearing.
He added that the sentence was “uncalled for, inappropriate and bordered on the ludicrous.”
“I think she’s singled out because of who she is,” Weitzman said.
I guess Hilton’s attorney was just as shocked as I was that money and prestige couldn’t help preserve his client’s freedom.
(By the way, did I mention the hotel heiress arrived at the courthouse 10 minutes late?)