heiress Paris Hilton (C) leaves the Los Angeles Municipal Court May 4,
2007. Hilton was ordered on Friday to spend 45 days in jail for violating
the terms of her probation for alcohol-related reckless driving. A Los
Angeles Superior Court judge ordered the 26-year-old celebrity socialite
jailed for driving on a suspended license in February. He ordered her to
report to jail on June 5. (Mario
A judge sentenced a shocked
and tearful Paris Hilton to 45 days in jail on Friday, ruling that the hotel
heiress violated her probation for a previous traffic offense by knowingly
driving without a valid license.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Sauer rejected Hilton's defense that
she didn't realize her license was suspended and ordered the 26-year-old socialite to
report to a county detention facility on June 5.
Hilton wept and her mother, Kathy, yelled at the prosecutor, "You're
pathetic," as the packed courtroom cleared.
The stunning decision capped a two-hour hearing in which prosecutors argued
that Hilton was thumbing her nose at
the court and seeking to be placed above the law, while defense lawyers said she
was being singled out for harsh treatment because of her celebrity.
Taking the witness stand in her own defense, the star of the reality TV show
"The Simple Life" testified that she was unaware her driving privileges had been
completely suspended at the time police stopped her and impounded her car on February 27.
Hilton said her publicist, Elliot Mintz, had told her she was permitted to
drive for work-related reasons after the first 30 days of her license suspension
late last November, and that she relied on what he had said.
But the judge said he did not believe Hilton, pointing to a notice she had
received from a police officer, and had signed, during another traffic stop in
He said Hilton had "completely ignored" that notice, which she had carried in
her glove box for weeks, and another license suspension notice sent to her
office address by the Department of Motor Vehicles that Hilton said she never
"In my opinion, there's not doubt that she knew that her license had been
suspended," the judge said. "She doesn't look at her mail, her personal
assistant never goes through it either. ... I think she just wanted to disregard
everything that was said and continued to drive no matter what."
In a final statement before she was sentenced, Hilton, dressed in a gray
waist jacket, white blouse and black pants, her blond hair tied back in a pony
tail, stood before the judge and denied that she had sought to flout the law.
"I did what I was told. I would never drive just because I want to. I follow
the law and I respect the law. From now on I want to pay complete attention to
everything," she said. "I just want to say I'm sorry."
But the judge was unmoved.