LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hotel heiress Paris Hilton, star of the reality TV show “The Simple Life,” will really be going back to basics when she checks into a Los Angeles County jail next month to do time for violating her probation.
The 26-year-old socialite, a symbol of privilege and the excesses of America’s celebrity culture, was ordered last week to report on June 5 to the Century Regional Detention Facility south of downtown Los Angeles, to serve a 45-day sentence for driving while her license was suspended.
Hilton was visibly shocked and tearful when a judge imposed the sentence, later calling it “cruel and unwarranted.”
Unless her lawyers win an appeal, she will forsake her designer clothes, cell phone and other accouterments — along with her freedom and privacy — for an orange jumpsuit and a small, spartan cell with twin bunks.
“She’s going to be assigned a two-person cell, and most likely have another inmate in the cell with her,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said on Monday, adding Hilton, like all inmates, would be confined to her quarters 23 hours a day.
She will be allowed out of her cell once a day for an hour to shower, stretch her legs, use the telephone or watch television in a jailhouse day room, he said.
The cell — 8 feet wide by 12 feet deep, with an 8-foot (2.4 meter) ceiling — contains “two bunks, a table, a sink, a toilet and a sliver of a window.” Hilton’s cellmate, if she gets one, will be another individual serving time for a serious driving infraction or other nonviolent offense, he said.
While the facility houses roughly 2,200 women, Hilton will be segregated from the general population in a “special-needs” unit designed for such high-profile prisoners as celebrities, former police officers and public officials, Whitmore said.
Hilton will get three meals a day, all taken in her cell, but like the jail’s furnishings, nothing fancy — cereal or yogurt with fruit for breakfast, a sandwich or hamburger for lunch, and a hot meal such as chicken for dinner.
“She’ll be given the same food that is served to every inmate in the jail, he said.
The jail’s schedule also will make it hard for Hilton to keep the late hours she is accustomed to. Breakfast is served between 6 and 7:30 a.m., and lights are turned out at 10 p.m.
Hilton landed in hot water for driving her car without a valid license earlier this year while on probation for an alcohol-related reckless driving offense.
Whether Hilton will serve all 45 days of her sentence is unclear. Under state sentencing guidelines, inmates receive one day credit against their sentence for each day they serve. This means Hilton would effectively complete her term after 22.5 days in jail, unless the judge’s order stipulates otherwise.
She also could get out early due to overcrowding, as was the case with actress Michelle Rodriguez of the TV show “Lost,” who was reported to have served just four hours and 20 minutes of a 60-day sentence for a probation violation last May.