Paris: Light At The End Of The Jail Cell

According to Los Angeles County officials, heiress Paris Hilton is getting out of jail on Tuesday after being ordered to serve 45 days for violating probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case. She is serving just 23 days for good behavior.

Last week, the New York Post reported that NBC News was going to pay Hilton $1 million for the first interview. It was also reported that ABC was willing to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the end, CNN's Larry King ended up winning the interview without paying anything and he is scheduled to talk to Hilton on Wednesday.

"NBC said they never actually committed to it," editor at large of Life & Style Weekly Ashlan Gorse told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. "Everyone was thinking Barbara Walters was going to get it."

It's been a tumultuous journey for Hilton. When she first entered jail, L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca released Hilton to electronically monitored house arrest after just three days for medical reasons. He later said she was medicated when she entered jail, unbeknownst to him and his staff. Many people said Hilton, 26, received preferential treatment.

"It just doesn't look good as to what happened, and people are outraged. And I think we all are," Supervisor Don Knabe said.

Judge Michael T. Sauer finally ordered the heiress back to jail.

"The fact that she was released from jail and then sent back to jail was unprecedented," CBS legal analyst Trent Copeland said. "We've never seen anything like that in Los Angeles county history."


Photos: Paris In Stripes
Copeland spoke to Sauer and he told Copeland he thought very hard about sending the heiress back to jail. Copeland said Sauer told him he didn't look at it as a single probation violation, but because she drove twice, he saw it as a double probation violation.

Hilton's return to custody was chronicled by every camera in Los Angeles. Even when the over-exposed heiress was finally out of camera range, people still couldn't stop making fun of her. Nonetheless, there is some serious fallout from Hilton's brush with the law. The same day she leaves jail, County Sheriff Lee Baca has to testify before the board of supervisors about why he released her June 7.

And the question remains: Will Hilton return to her partying ways? She said before she entered jail that she hopes to become a role model for other young people. Hilton also told Barbara Walters in a telephone interview that she wants to drop the "dumb act" and get involved in more charity work.

Reports surfaced that Hilton's father, Rick, was shopping around a big Las Vegas blow-out to celebrate his daughter's impending release from jail, but Gorse said Hilton realized that a party might not send the best message.


Photos: Hilton's Hideaway
"When she gets out she's planning a small, intimate dinner at home with her parents and maybe a couple of close friends," she said. "I'm sure it was the handlers. We all know Paris likes to party but we're hoping we're going to see a little more demure Paris when she comes out of jail."

Copeland said that Hilton's case may be the tipping point for celebrities and the justice system. Before Hilton, it was typically thought that celebrities are treated better than the average person. But he said the trend may be going the opposite way now.

"Where most people are expecting to have celebrities treated differently or special, but they're given worse treatment because they are celebrities and made examples of," he said. "I don't know if that will happen truly going forward, whether it's Phil Spector or Lindsay Lohan. But the tide is turning as to the expectation whether celebrities are given preferential treatment. We do know Paris Hilton received a sentence that was harsher than what most people would receive under ordinary circumstances."

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