Hollywood reacts to Paris' transfer

Times Staff Writer

Harvey Levin, managing editor, TMZ.com: "Here's what we've learned. The shrink she has been seeing yesterday and the day before convinced sheriff officials she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. This really complicates things for her because people aren't buying the nutcase defense. They saw her at the MTV awards and she looked sane. And she was able to help pull off that stunt to shake just about every camera in town except ours on her way to jail, but suddenly she is a basketcase? The irony is that yesterday I heard she was doing better than the day before--slept some and was adjusting to life behind bars. I think this has triggered a huge controversy that is going to last an awful long time for the sheriff's department and lead to an investigation of the circumstances surrounding her release. I'm not saying she wasn't or was a head case. I'm just saying a lot of people aren't buying it."

Mark Ebner, reporter, HollywoodInterrupted.com: "Paris's early release from jail is a move that represents the social contradiction of wealth, class, race, sex, gender, and societal control. The underlying rage will simmer to a violent boil inside the Lynwood Correctional Facility and on the streets in a riot incited by Al Sharpton. Short of that dream scenario, Paris should be publicly shunned for the remainder of her unnatural life."

Bonnie Fuller, chief editorial director of American Media Inc. and Star magazine: "We didn't have so much faith that she would want to do the 23 days, but we certainly thought that the sheriff would keep her in. That's the surprise; that they would be moved by her tears and whatever her mental issues are. I think she will suffer from the backlash. People were looking to her to accept responsibility for what she did. A DUI is a very serious offense. She already got her sentence cut down to 23 days, certainly she could suck it up, bear responsibility and serve her sentence with dignity┬ů.A lot of people felt she would emerge a bigger star after the sentence, but this will diminish her star. It wasn't a good career move to leave prison after three days."

Jerry Oppenheimer, author "The House of Hilton": "I'm not shocked. She has been living the high life since her mother called her 'star' for the first time when she was one month old. One can assume it would be quite hard for her to live in a 12 by 9 foot cell, getting hotdogs for dinner, not being able to party. I think it is obscene that her attorney and psychiatrist were able to pull off this deal for her to be at home rather than behind bars. There is no indication that while she can't go out of the house, her party friends can't come into the house. I don't really see it as any sort of punishment for her. I think it will turn the public against her even more than they are presently. If she had spent time behind bars and her agents could have gotten her to get a prison diary book deal, then she have been able to cash in on the publicity of her jailing. But it is quite possible that she couldn't take that environment. A lot of people can't take that environment."

Frank Griffin, co-owner of paparazzi agency Bauer-Griffin: "I thought she might do as many five days. I knew she wouldn't stay. I hadn't been told specifically, but it was blatantly obviously she wasn't going to do the full sentence. They aren't going to waste that kind of money on her. I think they had to put her in to save face. I think punishment was the prospect of having to go to jail looming on the horizon more than her actually serving the sentence. My prediction was she would go in a day or two earlier and then still be on "Letterman." She was slated to be on "Letterman" with Nicole Richie tonight."

Mark Lisanti, editor, Defamer: "We're all relieved that Hilton's early release from prison will finally quiet the unfair speculation that the judge and city attorney were merely using the sentence as some sort of grab for easy 'no one is above the law in our town' publicity."

Michael Levine, publicist, Levine Communications Office : "As it relates to society at large, I think it is a horrendous miscarriage of justice. I think it adds to the terrible cynicism of our times. She was sentenced to a 4,000 square foot facility where she can have parties. It is nauseating. Personally I feel putting a girl in 23 hours of solitary confinement was over the top. There was no need to keep that up. But I'm watching the TV shows and all the talking head attorneys are on. We are the laughingstock of the nation and the world. I like [LA Sheriff] Lee Baca a lot, but I think this is a bad bad symbol."

Michele Robertson, publicist, MRC: "When it comes to celebrities, justice has an interesting interpretation. Given the overcrowding in the jail system, I can see how something like this makes sense. I just hope that whatever ultimately happens, everyone remembers this isn't an example of what would happen to other people who don't have celebrity."

Howard Bragman founder of publicity firm Fifteen Minutes: "I don't think this early release helps anybody. I think people who might have respected her had she served out 23 days of her term now believe she doesn't have the chance for that catharsis. I think the general public will be very upset at the way the decision was made, and this is coming from a guy who knows Paris and likes Paris. I said all along that she should take this time to stop the roller coaster that is her life and go forward with a little more maturity and judgment. The jail sentence was a chance for her to turn things around, instead it reinforces that this is a rich girl who gets preferential treatment. I'm sure she's happy she is out. I'm happy for her and her family that she is out, but from a PR point of view, it was not a good move."

Cristina Perez, host of "Cristina's Court": "From a legal standpoint, once somebody is remanded to state or county jail the local sheriff is responsible for all decisions of incarceration. He has the authority to release individuals at his discretion, especially if there is over crowding. Is it rare that somebody is released? No. Especially for this type of offense, so it is not strange that she got out. What is strange about this is what is the medical condition that they couldn't treat in jail? We don't know all the details of this nervous breakdown and [the sheriff[ is involved in health and safety of the inmates, so we have to give them the benefit of the doubt."

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