Always one to make the scene, Hilton was on hand with other celebs at the MTV Movie Awards Sunday. But what she was talking about was jail — and her fears.
A few hours later, she began her sentence.
The 26-year-old heiress was booked at 11:38 p.m. Sunday into the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, an industrial area about five miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, according to the sheriff's inmate locator Web site.
Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said Hilton was easy to work with.
"Her demeanor was helpful. She was focused, she was cooperative," he said.
Hilton turned herself in at the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles just after 10:30 p.m., then was escorted to the all-women's facility in Lynwood, where she was booked, fingerprinted, photographed, medically screened and issued an orange top and pants, Whitmore said.
After checking in, Hilton was given her first meal: cereal, bread and juice.
The "Simple Life" star will be housed in the "special needs" unit of the 13-year-old jail, separate from most of its 2,200 inmates. The unit contains 12 two-person cells reserved for police officers, public officials, celebrities and other high-profile inmates. Hilton's cell has two bunks, a table, a sink, a toilet and a small window. She does not have a cellmate.
Like other inmates in that unit, Hilton will take her meals in her cell and will be allowed outside the 12-by-8-foot space for at least an hour each day to shower, watch TV in the day room, participate in outdoor recreation or talk on the telephone. No cell phones or BlackBerrys are permitted in the facility, even for visitors.
The jail, a two-story concrete building next to train tracks and beneath a bustling freeway, has been an all-female facility since March 2006. It's located in an industrial area about 12 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Hilton expressed fear about her upcoming jail sentence while making a surprise visit to the MTV Movie Awards Sunday, saying she was "scared" but ready to do the time.
Hilton showed up wearing a black strapless dress and jewels in her long blond hair. The hotel heiress stopped briefly to pose for photos and speak to reporters.
"I am trying to be strong right now," Paris said of her jail time set to begin Tuesday. "I'm really scared but I'm ready to face my sentence."
"I did have a choice to go to a pay jail," said Hilton, without giving details. "But I declined because I feel like the media portrays me in a way that I'm not and that's why I wanted to go to county, to show that I can do it and I'm going to be treated like everyone else. I'm going to do the time, I'm going to do it the right way."
Ashlan Gorse, editor at large at Life and Style Weekly magazine, caught up with Hilton on Saturday night.
"She was going all over the city. I met up with her at Area (a Los Angeles night club)," Gorse told The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen. "She was there. She was there with a couple friends. She was walking around, hugging everybody, saying her last goodbyes. She did look a little nervous, but she's Paris, she always looks good. The paparazzi were following her around, of course. It was a quick in and out and said her goodbyes for 23 days."
When Hilton was sentenced May 4, Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer ruled that she would not be allowed any work release, furloughs or use of an alternative jail or electronic monitoring in lieu of jail.
Hilton said her family, friends and fans have helped her prepare for her time behind bars.
"I've received thousands of letters from around the world of support and it's really been inspirational and really helped me," she said. "I'm really scared but I'm ready to do this. And I hope that I'm an example to other young people."
But though she spent her last night of freedom with her Hollywood cool crowd she got little sympathy from her peers at the award ceremony.
2"I don't wish jail or prison on anybody whether they deserve it or not," singer and actor Tyrese Gibson said. "But I just hope that while she's in there for the 23 days she sits there and thinks about her life."
"You shouldn't drive while drunk that's the bottom line. Hire a driver, you make enough money. Hire a driver," actress Amanda Bynes said.
Hilton said the jail sentence had forced her to reflect, though she didn't offer many details.
"Even these past couple weeks, it's completely changed my life," she said. "Even though it's a scary thing I'm using it in a positive way and when I come out, I can't wait to start my new life and be even stronger than I am now."
Hilton was ordered to serve her approximately three-week sentence for violating probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case.
Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said a statement would be issued after the hotel heiress was incarcerated.
On Saturday, about 15 photographers, reporters and television crews staked out the entrances to the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood waiting for the celebutant's arrival. Authorities had also cordoned off a grassy area outside the Los Angeles County jail for the media.
"She told me it was very emotional," Mintz said. "She also said that she feels this will be a time when Paris will be able to think and reflect and to spend time alone to learn from the experience because in Paris' life she's never alone — there's always a constant chatter around her."
Officers arrested Hilton in Hollywood on Sept. 7. In January, she pleaded no contest to the reckless-driving charge and was sentenced to 36 months' probation, alcohol education and $1,500 in fines.
She was pulled over by California Highway Patrol on Jan. 15. Officers informed Hilton she was driving on a suspended license and she signed a document acknowledging she was not to drive. She then was pulled over by sheriff's deputies on Feb. 27, at which time she was charged with violating her probation.