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Nicole Ritchie scared of prison

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Thursday, February 08, 2007
Nicole Richie has told friend Paris Hilton she is terrified she will go to prison for driving under the influence (DUI). 'The Simple Life' stars - who recently made up after a year of not speaking to each other - met at Los Angeles' Mr. Chow restaurant and Paris was seen comforting her distraught pal. A source told Life and Style Weekly magazine: "She was really freaking out. Paris kept telling Nicole not to worry, that everything was going to be fine." The adopted daughter of singer Lionel Richie was charged with DUI after police arrested her in the early hours of December 11 for driving the wrong way along a California freeway.

Nicole, 25, confessed to officers she had taken the strong painkiller Vicodin and had smoked marijuana. The former heroin addict has a previous DUI charge from 2002 and California law states that a repeat offence carries the mandatory jail sentence of five days. If convicted, Nicole would also have her driving license suspended for one year and be ordered to attend an alcohol education programme for a year-and-a-half, even if the second conviction is not alcohol-related. Paris recently negotiated a plea with prosecutors in her own DUI case.The hotel heiress was charged after she was found to be over the legal blood-alcohol level.

Her excuse was that she had not eaten all day. Paris insisted she had drunk just one margarita cocktail. The 25-year-old pleaded not guilty to DUI, instead pleading no contest to a lesser charge of reckless driving. Paris was placed on probation for 36 months and ordered to pay a $390 fine and attend an alcohol education programme. Her lawyer Howard Weitzman will also represent Nicole in her DUI case.

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