The circus that follows Paris Hilton almost everywhere was out in raucous full force Friday at Superior Court here, waving signs and dancing jigs. But when the judge’s order came down that she had to return to jail, the celebutante’s supporters were reduced to stunned silence.
“Oh no,” Hilton supporter “Melrose” Larry Green muttered softly, shaking his head at the news that Hilton would be going back to the slammer for violating her probation on a reckless driving conviction.
“People are just jealous of her because her name is Hilton, and she’s part of the Hilton hotels,” he had said a couple hours earlier after doing a dance to show his support.
“I love the Hilton hotels,” he added, “especially the one in New York.”
The ruling by Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer also had its supporters.
“I think justice was served,” civil-rights activist Najee Ali said. “It helps restore the public confidence that was eroding nationally with the star-struck judicial system.”
At the same time, Ali expressed sympathy for the star of TV’s “The Simple Life.”
“This is not a time to celebrate. It is a time to pray for her and her family,” he said.
Earlier, news helicopters buzzed Hilton’s Hollywood Hills home and paparazzi swarmed a sheriff’s patrol car as the sobbing, handcuffed heiress was placed inside and driven to the court.
Inside the courtroom, Hilton’s hair was askew and she wore no makeup. She cried throughout the hearing.
Outside, Hilton’s supporters were outnumbered by TV crews and other journalists who swarmed the courthouse just a day after the Sheriff’s Department released Hilton for an undisclosed medical reason.
Still, the supporters were loud and prominent as an airplane towed a banner overhead proclaiming, “We Love Paris.”
Several people who appeared with Hilton in episodes of “The Simple Life” also turned out.
Among them was Joey Carmona, who said the heiress inspired him to lose 30 pounds when she paid a visit to a weight-loss camp as part of the show.
“She supported us on that show, and we’re here to support her now,” he said before the start of the hearing.
“That’s really not for me to say,” he said.
Another supporter, Arlene Hampton, held a sign with a photograph of herself and the heiress and the words: “Prayn4U. Love, Arlene.”
“She was very supportive, very open and very personable,” when she visited the weight-loss camp, Hampton said.
Some were at the courthouse were there for other matters, but were ready with an opinion. Moses Baltazar was there to clear up a traffic ticket.
He acknowledged he was not a fan of Hilton, saying he was working as a valet the only time he met her. She tipped him just a dollar after he went to the trouble of keeping paparazzi away from her.
Baltazar felt Hilton should be returned to jail.
“Driving like that, you have to behave,” said Baltazar, 20. “If you’re rich, you have money, you have to respect yourself.”