Screaming and crying out for her mother when she was ordered back to jail, Paris Hilton's cool, glamorous image evaporated as a judge ruled she must serve out her entire 45-day sentence behind bars rather than in her Hollywood Hills home.
"It's not right!" shouted the weeping Hilton in court Friday. "Mom!" she called out to Kathy Hilton, who also was in tears.
The 26-year-old hotel heiress tried to move toward her parents but was firmly steered away by two sheriff's deputies, who held her by each arm and hustled her from the courtroom.
Hilton had been brought to court, handcuffed and crying, in a sheriff's car that picked her up from her home. She was escorted into court disheveled, without makeup, hair askew and face red with tears.
Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer was apparently unmoved by the pleas of Hilton's three lawyers to send her back to home confinement due to an unspecified medical condition. He ordered Hilton returned to a Los Angeles County jail to serve out the remainder of her 45-day sentence for violating probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case.
The judge gave no explanation for his ruling. But his comments throughout the hearing showed he was affronted by county Sheriff Lee Baca's decision to set aside his instructions and release Hilton after three days in jail to finish her time in the luxury of her home.
Her lawyers said the reason for her release was an unspecified medical condition. The judge suggested that could be taken care of at jail medical facilities.
The sheriff later hinted at a news conference that Hilton had psychological problems, and said she would be watched in jail "so that there isn't anything that is harmfully done to herself by herself."
Following the hearing, Hilton was taken to a correctional treatment center at the downtown Twin Towers jail for medical and psychiatric examination to determine which facility she will be held in, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.
"She'll be there for at least a couple of days," he said.
The sheriff later defended his decision, citing jail crowding (although Hilton was in a special unit and did not have a cellmate) and what he termed "severe medical problems."
He said he had learned from one of her doctors that she was not taking a certain medication while previously in custody, and that her "inexplicable deterioration" puzzled countypsychiatrists.
Baca also charged that Hilton received a more severe sentence than the usual penalty for such a crime, which he said would have been either no jail time or direct placement in home confinement with electronic monitoring.
"The only thing I can detect as special treatment is the amount of her sentence," the sheriff said.
But he said he would not try to overrule the judge's decision again.
Hilton's jailhouse saga began Sept. 7, when she failed a sobriety test after police saw her weaving down a street in her Mercedes-Benz on what she said was a late-night hamburger run.
She pleaded no contest to reckless driving and was sentenced to 36 months' probation, alcohol education and $1,500 (euro1,100) in fines. In the months that followed she was stopped twice while driving on a suspended license. The second stop landed her in Sauer's courtroom.
After being taken to court in a black-and-white police car, paparazzi sprinting in pursuit and helicopters broadcasting live from above, Hilton entered the courtroom weeping and continued to cry throughout the hearing, which lasted more than an hour.
Her blond hair was pulled back in a disheveled knot, in contrast to the glamorous side-swept style in her booking photo from earlier in the week. She was wrapped in a long gray fuzzy sweatshirt over slacks.
Her body shook constantly as she dabbed at her eyes. Several times she turned to her parents, seated behind her in the courtroom, and mouthed, "I love you." At one point, she made the sign of the cross and appeared to be praying.
When the judge announced his decision to return her to jail, Hilton screamed. Deputies ordered all spectators out of the courtroom. Hilton's mother, Kathy, threw her arms around her husband, Rick, and sobbed uncontrollably.
Deputies escorted Hilton out of the room, holding each of her arms as she looked back.
Despite being reincarcerated, Hilton could still be released early. Inmates are given a day off their terms for every four days of good behavior, and her days in home detention counted as custody days. It appeared that Friday would count as her sixth day.
Friday's hearing was delayed by a misunderstanding. Hilton apparently thought she was going to be able to participate from home by telephone. But the judge, who had not authorized that, angrily denounced a media outlet for spreading that rumor, although a court spokesman also gave that information to news media. He ordered sheriff's deputies to go to Hilton's home and bring her to court. The process took nearly two hours.
Once the hearing began, Sauer was blunt in his criticism of the sheriff for disobeying his orders, which specifically banned home confinement with electronic monitoring.
"I at no time condoned the actions of the sheriff and at no time told him I approved the actions," he said. "At no time did I approve the defendant being released from custody to her home."
The hearing was requested by the city attorney's office, which had prosecuted Hilton and wanted Baca held in contempt for releasing Hilton despite Sauer's express order that she must serve her time in jail. The judge took no action on the contempt request.
Hilton's attorney, Richard Hutton, implored the judge to order a hearing in his chambers to hear testimony about Hilton's medical condition before making a decision. The judge did not respond to that suggestion.