As Paris Hilton counted down her final hours in jail Monday, her reality stint behind bars was about to be replaced by the bizarre, almost fictional qualities that make up her life on the outside.
With Hilton due to be released sometime Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration promised to keep a close watch on the paparazzi helicopter pilots expected to track her every move.
“We will be sending inspectors to her neighborhood and to the jail to keep an eye on all the helicopter and perhaps even airplane traffic in the vicinity and make sure all the operations are conducted safely,” said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.
He noted that copter pilots could be cited for such things as hovering dangerously low over people or hovering low enough to kick up debris that damages homes and vehicles.
Meanwhile, in the fashionable Hollywood Hills neighborhood that Hilton calls home when she’s not in jail, city transportation officials put up temporary no-parking signs during the weekend to ensure that news vans and other vehicles didn’t block access to the narrow, winding street.
“It’s done to enable the people who live in the community to have access to their homes,” said Transportation Department spokesman Bruce Gillman. He didn’t know how long the signs would remain but said, “Hopefully, the media isn’t there too long.”
At the Sheriff’s Department, which administers the Los Angeles County jail system, officials were keeping quiet about how Hilton was spending her last hours in jail or what sort of paperwork process she must go through before being released.
“I’m not going to get into that. What I will say is to reiterate that the release date is tomorrow,” sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said Monday. “We’re not going to discuss anything other than that tomorrow is the day.”
Hilton spokesman Elliot Mintz declined to comment on what the star of television’s “The Simple Life” planned to do after being sprung from the stir. That left Paris watchers everywhere to speculate about such things as:
—Where would the hotel heiress go first, her home, her folks’ home or a hotel?
—What would be the first meal for Hilton, who has roundly criticized the quality of jail food? Would it possibly be an In-N-Out burger, which Hilton has said she was on her way to pick up last September when she was stopped for reckless driving, the incident that eventually put her in jail.
“I will definitely get a good meal because the food in here is absolutely inedible and horrible,” the 26-year-old celebutante told E! News’ Ryan Seacrest by phone last week.
Over the weekend, her mother, Kathy Hilton, paid a visit to the jail and told reporters afterward that her daughter was itching to trade in her orange jail jumpsuit for something a bit more stylish.
“She doesn’t like orange anymore,” Hilton’s mother said. “She can’t wait to get that orange suit off.”
The hotel heiress presumably will discuss more long-range plans Wednesday when she appears on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”
Hilton, who is arguably most famous for starring in a homemade sex video and being a permanent fixture on the Hollywood nightclub scene, has said she’d like to begin doing something more important with her life.
“I want to help build a transitional home so that when inmates leave here they don’t have to go back to the street,” she told Seacrest from jail. “These women just keep coming back because they have no place to go.”
Hilton’s path to jail began Sept. 7, when she failed a sobriety test after police saw her weaving down a street in her Mercedes-Benz. Hilton, who said she was hungry and on the way to get a hamburger, pleaded no contest to alcohol-related reckless driving and was sentenced to probation for three years.
In the months that followed she was stopped twice by officers who discovered her driving on a suspended license. The second stop landed her in court and then in jail.