There is something gratifying about the decision of a US court to jail Paris Hilton for 45 days.
The prison sentence has been imposed after she violated a probation order imposed for a drink-driving conviction.
Her legal team are appealing the Los Angeles court’s decision and Ms Hilton has been ordered to report to prison June 5 with no chance of early release from her 45-day sentence. If she fails to turn up on June 5 the sentence will increase to 90 days.
Gratification comes for different reasons. It is good to see the court is not giving any special treatment to the heiress mostly famous for simply being famous.
There is also a sense of satisfaction that she now has a title other than “party girl” or “it girl” or just plain old “celebrity”. It is easier with other people in the public eye, who we can refer to as the “actor/actress”, or “singer” or “politician” and so on. There is something unsatisfactory, however, in being forced to say “the celebrity Paris Hilton” as that is arguably the most superficial and pointless reason to be exposed to someone the media deems worthy of attention.
For 45 days at least we can call her “the prisoner Paris Hilton”, or afterwards as the “former prisoner Paris Hilton”. There is a little more purpose in such a title, as long as the sentence stands of course.
But, above all, the sense of gratification comes in knowing that she is being held responsible for her own actions.
The sum total of her defence against a jail term seems to be that although she signed the probation order she had no recollection of doing it because she “just signs what her people tell her to sign”.
Such an abject failure to take responsibility is something that is becoming all too evident and easy to get away with at present.
Although I’d stop short of stating that this sends out a clear message to certain sections of society, it is useful to know that it is still possible to make people understand the need to take responsibility for their own actions, mistakes and decisions.
(The latest twist sees the feckless heiress winning a sentence reduction and confirmation that she will not be housed with other inmates. No special treatment…hmmmmmm…).