Her jail clock has started ticking – each tick measured in dollars, for the money she would earn 23 days later when she completes her jail term and recalls her life behind bars to a global media breathlessly following her every move.
At 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 3, 2007, hotel heiress Paris Hilton surrendered herself to the Century Regional Detention Facility in Los Angeles, California where she was booked and transported to the women’s facility.
Paris Hilton in seen in this booking photo released by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Only hours earlier, she was on the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards, wearing a strapless black dress.
Paris Hilton walks on the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards.
The socialite smiled stoically in the face of jokes at her expense and as people cheered her upcoming incarceration.
The ceremony’s host, Sarah Silverman, drew loud cheers just by mentioning her upcoming date with the law.
The raunchy comedian joked that the bars of Hilton’s cell would be painted like penises to make her feel more comfortable, but noted: “I just worry that she’s going to break her teeth on those things.”
“I am trying to be strong right now. I’m ready to face my sentence. Even though this is a really hard time, I have my family, my friends and my fans to support me, and that’s really helpful,” she said after the show.
After turning heads at the award show, Paris headed over to the jail to check in. And from all accounts, she was a perfect lady. “Her demeanor was helpful. She was focused, she was cooperative,” said sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore.
After being fingerprinted, Hilton was issued a jail uniform and given her first meal –bread, juice, and cereal. She is determined to be like everyone else to dispel the common opinion that she wouldn’t be able to handle being treated “normal.”
“I did have a choice to go to a pay jail,” Paris told reporters. “But I declined because I feel like the media portrays me in a way that I’m not and that’s why I wanted to go to county, to show that I can do it and I’m going to be treated like everyone else. I’m going to do the time, I’m going to do it the right way.”
Paris admitted she was frightened as she traded her Guccis and designer clothes for jail garb to begin serving a 23-day sentence for violating probation.
“This is an important point in my life and I need to take responsibility for my actions. In the future, I plan on taking more of an active role in the decisions I make … Although I am scared, I am ready to begin my jail sentence,” Paris was quoted as saying.
Her trip to the county jail was done out of the glare of photographers staking out the facility.
Hilton was arrested for drunken driving in September, and in January, she pleaded no contest — the equivalent of a guilty plea — to a reduced charge of alcohol-related reckless driving. She was sentenced to three years’ probation and had her license suspended.
But the heiress was caught driving on a suspended license in February when police stopped her for going over the speed limit with her headlights out at night. A traffic court judge ruled on May 4 that Hilton’s latest offense constituted a probation violation and sentenced her to 45 days in jail.
Hilton will be held in a unit for celebrities and high-profile inmates at the jail. The unit is separated from the general prison population, officials have said.