Paris Hilton checks back into the gray-bar hotel
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — She was taken handcuffed and crying from her home. She was escorted into court disheveled, without makeup, hair askew and face red with tears.
Crying out for her mother when she was ordered back to jail, Paris Hilton’s cool, glamorous image evaporated Friday as she gave the impression of a little girl lost in a merciless legal system.
“It’s not right!” shouted the weeping Hilton. “Mom!” she called out to Kathy Hilton, who also was in tears.
The 26-year-old hotel heiress tried to move toward her parents but was firmly steered away by two sheriff’s deputies, who held her by each arm and hustled her from the courtroom.
Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer was apparently unmoved by the pleas of Hilton’s three lawyers to send her back to home confinement due to an unspecified medical condition. He ordered Hilton returned to a Los Angeles County jail to serve out the remainder of her 45-day sentence for violating probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case.
The judge gave no explanation for his ruling. But his comments throughout the hearing showed he was affronted by county Sheriff Lee Baca’s decision to set aside his instructions and release Hilton after three days in jail to finish her time in the luxury of her Hollywood Hills home.
Her lawyers said the reason for her release was an unspecified medical condition. The judge suggested that could be taken care of at jail medical facilities.
The sheriff later hinted at a news conference that Hilton had psychological problems, and said she would be watched in jail “so that there isn’t anything that is harmfully done to herself by herself.”
Following the hearing, Hilton was taken to a correctional treatment center at the downtown Twin Towers jail for medical and psychiatric examination to determine which facility she will be held in, said sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore.
“She’ll be there for at least a couple of days,” he said.
The sheriff later defended his decision, citing jail crowding (although Hilton was in special unit and did not have a cellmate) and what he termed “severe medical problems.”
He said he had learned from one of her doctors that she was not taking a certain medication while previously in custody, and that her “inexplicable deterioration” puzzled county psychiatrists.
Baca also charged that Hilton received a more severe sentence than the usual penalty for such a crime, but said he would not try to overrule Sauer’s decision again.
“The criminal justice system should not create a football out of Ms. Hilton’s status,” the sheriff said at a press conference.
After being taken to court in a black-and-white police car, paparazzi sprinting in pursuit and helicopters broadcasting live from above, Hilton entered the courtroom weeping and continued to cry throughout the hearing, which lasted more than an hour.
Her blond hair was pulled back in a disheveled knot, in contrast to the glamorous side-swept style in her booking photo from earlier in the week. She was wrapped in a long gray fuzzy sweatshirt over slacks.
Her body shook constantly as she dabbed at her eyes. Several times she turned to her parents, seated behind her in the courtroom, and mouthed, “I love you.” At one point, she made the sign of the cross and appeared to be praying.
Despite being reincarcerated, she could still be released early. Inmates are given a day off their terms for every four days of good behavior, and her days in home detention counted as custody days.