LOS ANGELES – A judge sentenced Paris Hilton to 45 days in county jail Friday for violating her probation, putting the brakes on the hotel heiress’ famous high life.
Hilton, 26, who parlayed her name and relentless partying into worldwide notoriety, must go to jail by June 5 and she will not be allowed any work release, furloughs, use of an alternative jail or electronic monitoring in lieu of jail, Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer ruled after a hearing.
The judge, saying “there’s no doubt she knew her license had been suspended,” ruled that she was in violation of the terms of her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case.
“I’m very sorry and from now on I’m going to pay complete attention to everything. I’m sorry and I did not do it on purpose at all,” she told the judge before he announced the sentence.
She was then ordered to report to a women’s jail in suburban Lynwood by the set date or face 90 days behind bars. The judge’s ruling excluded her from paying to serve time in a jail of her choice, as some are allowed.
Hilton was among a series of witnesses who took the stand during the hearing. She testified she believed her license was initially suspended for 30 days and that she was allowed to drive for work purposes during the next 90 days.
She said that when an officer who stopped her in January made her sign a document stating her license was suspended, she thought he was mistaken and did not actually look at the document.
Also called to the stand was Hilton’s spokesman, Elliot Mintz. Hilton and her attorneys characterized Mintz as a liaison between Hilton and her lawyers.
Mintz testified that to his knowledge Hilton did not drive during the 30-day period. He said he then advised her that he believed her license was no longer suspended.
The judge called Mintz’s testimony worthless and expressed disbelief at Hilton’s lawyers.
“I can’t believe that either attorney did not tell her that the suspension had been upheld,” the judge said. “She wanted to disregard everything that was said and continue to drive no matter what.”
Hilton’s parents, Kathy and Rick, attended the hearing, holding hands throughout the proceedings.
As a city prosecutor said during closing arguments that Hilton deserved jail time, Hilton’s mother, Kathy, laughed. When the judge ruled, Kathy Hilton then blurted out: “May I have your autograph?”
Paris Hilton looked forward and didn’t speak to news media as she left court.
Defense attorney Howard Weitzman said he would appeal.
He said the sentence was “uncalled for, inappropriate and bordered on the ludicrous.”
“I think she’s singled out because of who she is,” Weitzman said.