Paris Hilton's lawyer, Richard Hutton, said the jailbird heiress is being held in solitary confinement, and added that she is effectively a prisoner of her own celebrity status. He made the claim in an address to the media yesterday outside the Century Regional Detention Facility, where she is being held.
"I met with Paris this morning. She is doing very well under the circumstances. The staff here inform us she has been gracious, polite, and thankful for their help with her," he told the assembled journalists. We came in last night, early, rather than being a public spectacle this morning. That was Paris's request, to demonstrate that she takes this very seriously. She did not want to make a media circus out of this event but rather surrender quietly and start doing her time," he added.
"Here's what makes the problem even worse for my client. She is really being punished because of her celebrity status. Please understand, the sheriff's department has been wonderful to us. Do not misinterpret anything I am saying as against (the department or the prison).
"But the reality is this: if she were an ordinary citizen she would have been put in GP - that's called general population. In general population, she would be living in a dorm with 30, 40 or 50 other women and the time would pass pretty quickly. But because of who she is, they had no choice - and believe me we are more interested in her safety than anything else - but they had no choice but to place her in administrative segregation. And that is the correct term for where she is."
"That means she is in a cell with less than 100 square feet (9.29 square metres), she is in that cell 23 out of 24 hours a day, in solitary confinement.
"For the one hour a day that she's out, she's allowed to be in the 'module', take a shower and talk on the phone. But she's in isolation for 23 out of 24 hours a day. And ask yourself, for what? For driving on a suspended licence, as a probation violation," he said in a rousing end to his address.
Meanwhile, a celebrity website reported that Hilton had been forced to dress in the regulation short-sleeved orange prison jumpsuit. But it added that, contrary to earlier reports, she had been allowed to keep her trademark hair extensions because they were "tightly wound".
Hilton surrendered to authorities in downtown Los Angeles hours after making a surprise appearance at the MTV Movie Awards and was transferred to the Century Regional Detention Facility in nearby Lynwood, the county sheriff's department said.
Once there, she was fingerprinted, photographed and issued an ID wristband, jail clothing and toiletries, said sheriff's department Sergeant Diane Hecht in a statement.
Her booking photo showed her dressed in a white V-neck top, wearing eye makeup and lip gloss with a slight smile, her blond hair swept to one side over her right shoulder.
Sheriff's department spokesman Steve Whitmore described her as "cooperative", "calm" and "focused" during booking.