For Paris Hilton, Jail Will Be an 'Awful, Hellish Place'

She'll contend with cold showers, bad food and real people.

ByABC News via via logo
February 09, 2009, 7:39 PM

May 5, 2007 — -- America's favorite party girl has been ordered to jail, and her stay there will be no trip to the Hilton.

A judge sentenced Paris Hilton to 45 days in a Los Angeles county jail Friday for violating her probation. Come June 5, Hilton will be confined to a segregated 8-by-12-foot cell in a Lynwood, Calif., detention center for women. Her designer duds won't be welcome.

"She will be in an orange jumpsuit, and everything else, the accoutrement, the makeup, is an absolute minimum," said Sgt. Steve Whitmore of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

Hilton's cell phone, her crystal-encrusted trademark, will be banned as well. But not being able to text and talk with her celebrity friends will be the least of Hilton's worries.

"Forty-five days in L.A. County Jail is really rough. That's an awful, hellish place," said criminal defense attorney Dana Cole. "Conditions are miserable, people take showers under cold dripping water, the food is completely inedible."

The scene outside the courthouse Friday looked like a red carpet event, with paparazzi and an entourage struggling to catch a glimpse of the star inside. But Hilton couldn't act her way out of the alcohol-related reckless driving conviction against her.

"I'm very sorry, I did not do it on purpose at all," she pleaded to judge Michael Sauer.

Sauer threw the book at her.

Despite her penchant for publicity, after hearing her sentence, the 26-year-old celebutante left the courthouse and said nothing. Howard Weitzman, Hilton's attorney, said he'd appeal.

"She's been selectively targeted in my opinion to be prosecuted because of who she is," he said.

Prosecutors denied they targeted Hilton, who pleaded no contest in January to reckless driving and driving under the influence. She was stopped twice after that and charged for violating her parole.

"No one in Los Angeles is above the law," said Los Angeles city attorney Rocky Delgadillo.

Should Hilton fail to show up in June, Judge Sauer said he'd double her sentence to 90 days. But Cole predicts she could have an easy escape.

"This judge, if they appeal it, and I believe they will, will have to set a reasonable bail," he said.

Hilton joins a list of prominent wealthy women who have had to do time in recent years, including Martha Stewart, hotel queen Leona Helmsley and publicist Lizzie Grubman. Celebrity insiders predict that like them, Hilton will be able to exploit her time in jail.

"Here's certainly an opportunity for Paris to join the ranks of other celebrities who have been at the top of their game who then have gone to rock bottom only to come back," said Us Weekly editor Dina Sansing. "America loves a comeback."

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