MEREDITH VIEIRA, co-host:
We are back at 8:09 with the first messages from
since she was sentenced to
in jail. Last night on
wrote to a friend about that expletive that was on her middle finger, saying, "Didn't we do our nails as a joke with our friend
? It had nothing to do with
. It's an airbrush design from a stencil." Later she tweeted this, perhaps a reference
to her own punishment:
"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." So what will
's life be like behind bars? Here's NBC's
GEORGE LEWIS reporting:
looked shocked as she was sentenced.
Ninety days at the
downtown Los Angeles
. And what's life at this place going to be like for
Ms. WENDY FELDMAN:
I would tell her, get ready to just give it all up.
, a former stock broker who went to federal prison for securities fraud, now councils people on how to survive jail time.
She will be confined, and that will be very, very difficult.
will be housed alone in a 12-by-eight-foot
like this one, with her own toilet and wash basin. She won't be permitted to use her cell phone or the
. The sheriff's department plans to keep her apart from the rest of the prisoners for her own protection. A probation report just made public notes
has been using a number of
, including the stimulant
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
and the pain killer
, prescribed by a dentist who removed her wisdom teeth last month. Now it will be up to authorities to decide whether
gets to continue using those prescriptions.
Everybody knows your business. And the bottom line is how you going to recover? What are you going to do after this?
did time at the same jail three years ago for violating her probation.
Ms. PARIS HILTON:
The most humiliating experience of my life.
After she got out,
about that experience.
I was having severe panic attacks, anxiety attacks, my claustrophobia was kicking in.
When actors in trouble for drugs and alcohol throw themselves on the mercy of the
Ms. LINDSAY LOHAN:
I did do everything that I was told to do and did the best I could to, you know, balance jobs and showing up. I'm sorry.
...it just doesn't seem to work. After
made this emotional statement a few years back...
Mr. TOM SIZEMORE:
I deserve a second chance, sir. Thank you.
...he got more than a year in jail, plus
. Some do turn their lives around. After jail and
Robert Downey Jr.
kicked his heroin habit and resumed his successful movie career. Mr.
ROBERT DOWNEY JR
.: It's about hopefully we're leaving here to bring ourselves back to our lives as more principled people.
And now the same challenge awaits
. For TODAY,
, NBC News,
So will jail time and
save her career? MSNBC.com media analyst
is the author of "What Were They Thinking?" and Dr.
is a psychiatrist and drug expert and the author of "Weekends at Bellevue." Good morning to you both.
Mr. STEVE ADUBATO (Media Analyst, MSNBC.COM):
Dr. JULIE HOLLAND (Psychiatrist Drug Expert):
, if I -- good morning. If I can start with you. In March of this year,
said about her stints in
-- she referred to them as a vacation. Do you think that jail will force her to take the severity of her situation more seriously?
Well, I think hopefully it will do that.
imagine that's what the judge is thinking. I mean, the judge has said that she's been deflecting blame and not really taking responsibility for her behavior, so she'll have some time to really think about that and hopefully take personal accountability for what's been going on.
Yeah. And she'll follow this
in jail with
center. Back in
, I believe it was, she spent 45 days in
and then two weeks after getting out she was arrested for
and possession of cocaine. So you have to wonder how successful these
Right. Well, you know, the
-- the whole recovery industry really is -- sort of is in crisis right now. I mean, they've got an abstinence-based model, which is a little bit outdated. It may make more sense for them to embrace a harm reduction model where abstinence isn't necessarily the goal, but what you look for is a healthier behavior, a safer behavior, incremental changes that you can get behind instead of insisting on abstinence.
I mean, most people are in and out of rehabs. I mean, it's a chronic illness, there's relapses, there's recovery.
But if you're an addict...
It's not uncommon. She...
...can -- if you're an addict, can you be a little bit of an addict? I mean, are you suggesting just give them a little bit of alcohol or a little bit of drugs?
It's not -- it's -- the problem is that these abstinence-based
programs aren't having very high success rates because the benchmark for success is
. And it may make sense to just, you know, applaud any changes toward health, any changes toward growth and to embrace a more harm reduction-oriented model.
OK, anything that may help her along the way.
, I want to talk about her career at this point.
, so far they're saying they're sticking with her. Is that a good idea?
Well, look, I understand them saying that,
, because that's what they have to say publicly. But let's be candid here. In a difficult economy, would you invest $50 million on a movie with
being the lead character? Would you do that, given her track record? Would you do that given the fact that she couldn't even do the
-mandated appearances she was supposed to do? She missed not one, two, three, four, five -- seven of them. Her excuses are sickening. They get old, they get tired. `I didn't know. Oh that wasn't -- I didn't mean that on my finger.' My point is this. If you're a
, if you're someone who's investing your life's blood into this, she's not the one you're going to invest in. My advice to her is do some independent stuff, do some things that there's not a lot of money involved for yourself. But she has to rehabilitate herself physically, emotionally, psychologically. And in terms of her career, forget about a big movie. That should be the last thing on her mind.
So should she model herself after somebody like a
Robert Downey Jr.
-- the problem was
Robert Downey Jr.
had a great track record as an adult actor. So even though he seriously -- he had a serious problem, we saw that he did really good things as an actor. She, I mean, was -- you know, there was "
," there was "
." But it's been years since she has been a success. When she said she was working, in
, I'm thinking, `What were you doing?' Being filmed and having the paparazzi take your picture, that's not working. Working is what we're doing. She hasn't been working. My point is, she doesn't have a reputation as a working actress, and that's a terrible thing. Her brand is in serious trouble. You don't need me to say that. I would argue that the has to do some things off -- way off
, some films...
To rebuild the brand essentially.
Slowly, and prove that she can get through a job. These excuses have to end, and people are getting tired of it.
, what does she need to do -- first thing she needs to do to make this
work this time?
Well, she has to really want to make changes, and she has to sort of accept that she has a problem and she's got to work it. I think, you know, the
-- she's had a couple of
-ordered rehabs that really didn't go very well. She started using again as soon as she got out. So, you know, the first thing is she may be in denial, and she really has to accept that she's got a problem and she needs help.
And what about the people around her, the enablers? How does she avoid them?
Right. I mean, we've talked about this with other, you know, child stars who get a lot of attention, a lot of adulation, and people are giving them drugs, they want to party with them. It's going to be very -- she's really going to have to make huge changes in her life and how she spends her time if she wants to stay sober.
And it seems to me she has to acknowledge that she has hit rock bottom. And after watching her in
, I hate to call it a performance, it was an embarrassing performance. And she doesn't appear to in any way,
, believe that she is recountable, she is responsible, because there's a million reasons why -- everyone did -- she didn't do it. Take responsibility.
Well, we all hope that she does that...