CNN LARRY KING LIVE: Will Paris Hilton Go To Jail? (Transcript)

Aired on May 11, 2007 - 21:00 ET


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, will Paris Hilton go to jail?
She's hired a new attorney.

Will there be a desperate last ditch appeal to keep the world's most famous heiress out of this slammer?

And what's it like in there anyway?

We've got a reporter right there at that detention center and she's been speaking with the Hilton family.

Plus, a former Hollywood madam who did time in a sister jail to the one where Paris would serve her sentence.

And then Dominick Dunne -- the high society insider who's a friend of the Hiltons. He'll also take us inside the bizarre murder trial that's got Hollywood buzzing.


DOMINICK DUNNE: ... never pulled a gun on any of these women, make that very clear.


KING: Hey, it's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

On May 4th, Paris Hilton was scheduled, or is scheduled, to -- she was sentenced to serve 45 days in jail.

And we'll get into that right off the get go.

Cheryl Woodcock, the correspondent with "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider," is at the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynnwood, California, where, if Miss. Hilton goes to jail, that's where she'd serve.

In New York is Janis Min, the editor -- weekly editor-in-chief of "Us Weekly." This week's "Us Weekly" tells us what Paris can expect at that Century Regional Detention Center.

Here in Los Angeles is Judge Glenda Hatchett. Judge Hatchett occupies the bench on her own syndicated television show.

Expected shortly is Mark Geragos, the famed defense attorney. He's rushing in. And here in L.A. is Jody "Babydoll" Gibson, the former Hollywood madam who spent 22 months behind bars, four of those in the sister facility to the Century Regional Center.

We'll start with Cheryl Woodcock.

I understand, Cheryl, that you've spent time today talking to Kathy Hilton, Paris' mother.

What did she have to say?


Right now, the family is just completely devastated. Right now, they're concentrating on recovery of Rick Hilton, who was in the hospital today for a stomach surgery. That's what they're concentrating on right now.

KING: What are they saying about Paris?

WOODCOCK: You know what?

They are just so incredibly worried about her. And there's just a lot of stress going on right now in that family.

KING: Is...

WOODCOCK: They're just trying to make it one day at a time.

KING: Is the family appealing directly to Governor Schwarzenegger?

WOODCOCK: Absolutely not. I can tell you right here and now there is no truth to that whatsoever.

KING: The surgery, was it successful?

WOODCOCK: Yes, it was, Larry. It was a very successful surgery. And, actually, Paris and Kathy are by Rick's side right now.

So, we wish you the best, Rick.

KING: Janice Min, your "Us" magazine has a lengthy article what Paris can expect in that jail facility.

Did you go to that facility?

JANICE MIN, "US WEEKLY" EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: We -- we have reporters who are very familiar with the facility. We interviewed people involved with the sheriffs department who told us quite extensively about what to expect there. And, you know, the joke has been made a million times, but it is no Hilton. It is a -- it's what you would expect. It's a confining, somewhat depressing, very rigid place where, you know, the goal is to mete out punishment. And that is what will happen. KING: But why would it be that way, since the jail is also a facility where people who are about to go to trial but don't have bail also go?

So therefore they're innocent until proven guilty.

Where are they treated harshly?

MIN: That's -- I mean that's the way the legal system is here. There, unfortunately, there is no luxury jail in America. Typically -- I mean, obviously, states play a lot of money to maintain these jails and there's just not the budget to have 400 count sheets in these facilities.

KING: I wasn't saying 400 count sheets, but a lot of people there are not guilty of anything. They're awaiting trial.

MIN: Um-hmm.

KING: So why are they treated harshly at all?

MIN: Well, the place where Paris is going to be held -- it will be -- she will be held in a place with -- with other women who have, for the most part, been convicted of narcotics offenses. She will be -- she will have a roommate. But she's in a ward with nonviolent offenders.

What we -- what we ascertained is that she is in with people who have been convicted of crimes. It's quite a large jail with many different -- with many different areas.

KING: Will she be allowed visitors?

MIN: She will be allowed visitors one hour on Saturday and one hour on Sunday. She's allowed unlimited visits with her attorney, but she will have to speak exactly as you would see on TV -- she has to speak through a speaker box similar to you would -- similar to what you would speak in at a drive-through fast food restaurant.

KING: Jody "baby doll" Gibson, you spent two months at a sister facility, right?


KING: What were you there for?

GIBSON: I was there for -- right before being shipped off to state prison for being convicted of running my escort empire.

KING: A prostitution service?



What was it like?

GIBSON: It was a very traumatizing experience. It -- it has a glass door with a toilet in full view so everyone can see when you go to the bathroom. And you sleep on a steel shelf. You are subjected to humiliating strip searches where you have to, you know, bend over to take all your clothes off and they look up you with a flashlight. The lights are fluorescent. They never shut off. You get massive headaches. It -- it's really very serious and very traumatizing.

KING: Worse than the state prison?

GIBSON: No. The difference is that jail is actually safer than prison. It's segregated. You're not with general population. In prison, you are in general population and you are, there, one of, you know, 5,000 women.

KING: Give me a daily schedule.

GIBSON: Oh, what, for jail?

KING: Yes.

GIBSON: You're up -- well, in jail, it's not as, you know, regulating as prison. Prison, you have to get up at 7:00 a.m. For breakfast. You have to go to work. It's very rigid.

In jail, if you don't want to eat, you don't eat. There's not really anything to eat anyway. You basically, you know, are on your own time.

However, my understanding was that she was going to be in 23 hour lockdown and that she was going to be segregated without anyone in her cell. So this is news to me she has other inmates around her.

But in 23 hour lockdown, you are handcuffed even on the way to the shower. You're uncuffed just to take your 15 minute shower and handcuffed and brought back to your facility.

KING: Judge, that would happen to someone for driving with a suspended license?

JUDGE GLENDA HATCHETT, TV'S "JUDGE HATCHETT": I did not know that she was going to be on 23 hour lockdown. That surprises me, Larry.

I would think not. But this is news to me and that's something we need to check into.

KING: What happens when you send people to jail?

HATCHETT: Well, it depends on what they're being sent for. In this situation, it would be very much as you described where they're in a jail -- in a county jail. The biggest thing, I think, that's going to happen with Paris is that she's not going to have the communications access -- no Blackberry, no Internet. I mean she's basically going to have to abide by the rules and pretty much be in prison -- in prison uniform day in and day out.

The only visitation she will have, as you've heard, is on the weekend, except for her lawyer.

I mean it's going to be a life changing, probably, situation for her in jail.

KING: Cheryl, you have been inside the facility?

WOODCOCK: You know what, Larry?

I have not. I'm outside the facility right now. It looks very nice on the outside. However, one of your producers just spoke to an inmate who was released and she said that the conditions inside were pretty harsh.

KING: Where is Lynnwood?

WOODCOCK: Linwood is about 20 miles out of Los Angeles, close to Long Bong beach.

KING: South then?

WOODCOCK: South yes.

KING: We'll take a break and be right back with more.

We hope Mr. Geragos gets here, too.

Coming up, Paris' family may not have appealed to Governor Schwarzenegger, but 22,000 other people have. Details when we come back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Paris, why don't you just admit what you did was wrong?

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't give a damn about my reputation.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forty-five days in jail.











JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: Who is Paris Hilton?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I don't give a damn about my reputation.



JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: On this Paris Hilton thing, Paris called her...



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take responsibility and do the time.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. No, no, no, no.

Not me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me.

No, no, no, no.

Not me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't give a damn about my reputation.

Never been afraid of...



(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HOWARD WEITZMAN, HILTON'S ATTORNEY: I think she was singled out because she's who she is. I've been involved in cases and know cases where people have second and third driving under the influence convictions and don't go to jail. And it was clear that she's been selectively targeted, in my opinion, been prosecuted because of who she is.


KING: Before we get Janis Min to give us the rundown of a daily schedule at Lynwood, Mr. Geragos, who's been there a lot, tell us it isn't bad.


KING: Mark Geragos has arrived.

GERAGOS: It's not the worst. I mean you've been to Sybil Brand, where -- when it was still open -- and that is an awful place to be.

The Lynwood facility is probably one of the newest facilities. Twin Towers is also new, but the problem with Twin Towers is there's more sensory deprivation.

Lynwood is not that bad at all.

The problem is -- the real problem is, is she's going to be -- Howard is completely correct in that she will be discriminated against.

She, in this sense -- normally, and I've had clients within the last two weeks where lawyers in my office have admitted a probation violation. They've been sentenced to 10 -- anywhere from 10 to 45 days.

One of my lawyers tells me that just this week, somebody who was sentenced to 45 days, just similar to her, was released in less than 24 hours because of the overcrowding.

So, that's not going to happen to her, because everybody is going to be paying attention.

But if she was -- if this was Joe Hilton, as opposed to Paris Hilton, she could fully expect to be released and -- due to the overcrowding.

KING: Are you saying you think if she goes, she'll do 45 days?

GERAGOS: I think -- no, because with credits, the most they can keep her is 30. She -- if they're going to be fair about it -- and this sheriff is, you know, Sheriff Bach is a pretty fair guy...

KING: Yes, he is.

GERAGOS: But if they're going to be fair, she shouldn't do more than two or three days, because nobody else is doing more than two or three days on something like this.

KING: Janice Min...


KING: ... with your research, what's the daily schedule like?

MIN: In the county sheriff's department, he laid it out pretty clearly. It's very regimented, which I think will be the hardest thing for Paris, who is used to so much freedom.

Lights come on at 6:00 a.m. They serve breakfast. It's pretty much the same thing all the time -- corn flakes, juice, milk, some wheat bread. Then she stays in her cell.

At 11:00 a.m. they bring lunch out. Remember, this is a woman who likes to eat lunch at The Ivy. In jail, she's going to be eating mostly turkey bologna sandwiches. They serve potato chips and a fruit punch and an apple.

KING: So far it isn't bad.

Go ahead.

MIN: OK. It's like a school lunch, essentially.

KING: Yes.

MIN: At 4:00 -- at 4:00 p.m....

KING: My kids had that today.

MIN: Yes.

At 4:00 p.m. you know, dinner comes very early in the jail. So she'll -- the typical dinner includes a -- it's a chicken burger patty with gravy, vegetables and pineapple bits. And at 5:30, they clear -- they clear the food and it's lights out at 10:30.

KING: Is that what you had?

GIBSON: No. Mine was considerably worse.

However, because she's Paris Hilton, she is going to be harassed every single solitary moment.

KING: By whom?

GIBSON: By every inmate in there. They're going to want to know everything about her, who she knows. They're going to be talking at her constantly. She will not have a moment's peace.

KING: Do you agree with the sentencing, judge?

HATCHETT: I do agree with the sentencing. Everybody says oh my goodness, it was one violation. But you have to follow the timetable, Larry.

This happened back in September of '06. She was arrested on a dui. And at that time, the statute says that she could have been sent to jail at that point for a period of not less than five days and not more than 90 days.

But she got a pass. Eventually, in January -- the system works slowly -- she was put on probation. But her license was revoked in November.

And so then she gets stopped January 15th. She gets stopped about February 27th.

And so it's not just this one situation that she's going to serve time with. I don't think the 45 days is unreasonable in this situation.

KING: On May 9th, Paris Hilton issued the following statement through her attorney, Richard Hutton.

Is he a new attorney, I guess?



"After reading the media's coverage of my court hearing, I feel the need to correct what I believe are misconceptions about me. I absolutely realize how serious driving under the influence is. I cannot live with myself if anyone was injured or killed while I was driving while impaired. Clearly, no one should, no matter how slightly. I am ready to face the consequences of violating probation. No one is above the law. I surely am not. I do not expect to be treated better than anyone else who violated probation.

However, my hope is that I will not be treated worse."

A fair statement?

GERAGOS: Yes. And Richard is -- Richard Hutton is the dean of the dui lawyers in Los Angeles. So Richard clearly knows what he's doing.

She is going to be treated worse, however, and is being treated worse. If it wasn't her, you would be able to continue there is case a number of times. You'd find a much softer place to land.

Generally, there are people -- if you get the judges right, generally if you come back on a probation violation within the first year, you're getting 30 days no matter what.

But there are alternatives to that and there is ways that you can work around that.

The problem is with this kind of scrutiny, it's the oldest story in the world. KING: But...

GERAGOS: God save me from this fair treatment.

HATCHETT: Well, but I think, Mark, the other problem is that you had a stop on January 15th. And in the glove compartment in February -- February's stop, there's the first citation.

And so the question becomes why aren't you paying attention?

And I think that the problem is that it appears that she has such a blatant disregard for authority.

KING: Therefore there's...

HATCHETT: And I think that that's the problem.

KING: You don't buy this statement?

HATCHETT: Well, I think that this is carefully crafted. I agree that she has a great lawyer now. But I think that this is kind of after the fact. And I don't think that her actions are consistent with this.

Larry, she shows up for court late, even for the hearing.

KING: Does this statement indicate that she can't ask for a reduced sentence?

GERAGOS: Well, I think that at a certain point, because of the way that this has played out, obviously, what's going to happen is somebody is going to go in and see if they can't get a reduced sentence of some kind.

You know, there is a glitch here in the law in California. You can literally file a notice of appeal in a misdemeanor case and you can stay the jail sentence. So if they wanted to do that, automatically, under 1275, you can stay the jail sentence...

KING: For how long?

GERAGOS: ... on any misdemeanor.

KING: Until the appeal?

GERAGOS: As long as it takes to do the appeal.

HATCHETT: Until the appeal.

KING: When we come back, could time in the slammer make Paris an even bigger celebrity?

We'll ask, when we come back.


PARIS HILTON: Really sexy and cute.



KIMMEL: The last 48 hours, there have been wildfires, floods tornadoes, an earthquake. It's nuts. And I can't help but believe that this is god punishing us for imprisoning Paris Hilton. I really can't.



HILTON: That's hot.



LETTERMAN: Earlier today, Paris Hilton called the L.A. County Jail and requested a junior suite.



HILTON: That's hot.



LENO: And Paris called her punishment "cruel and unwarranted." That's the same thing people said about her CD when it came out, remember that?



HILTON: Oh, no. Oh, Even though the guys are crazy, even though the stars are blind. You show me real love, baby, I'll show you mine.






UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) not letting you guys out of the parking lot.






UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let this man out of here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let this man out of here.

Let this man out of here.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love the media.


KING: Oh, life at the top.

GERAGOS: She should get 45 days for ruining that poor Bentley.

KING: Yes.

Cheryl, do you know who is advising her?

WOODCOCK: You know what, Larry?

I do. Right now, Paris is preparing for this experience and she's actually been in contact with Patty Hearst.

KING: Who has done time?

WOODCOCK: Yes, she has. And she is giving her advice and tips. And it's actually comforting Paris. And right now, she's working out twice a day -- Paris. And she's actually trying to do some therapeutic artwork -- collages with her animals. So she's basically preparing for this experience of jail time.

KING: Which is a good idea.

Jody, is she going to be a bigger celebrity now?

GIBSON: Absolutely. KING: After jail she'll be bigger?

GIBSON: Absolutely. She'll write another book about her time in jail.

KING: Even if it's three hours?

GIBSON: Correct.

KING: My three hours in jail.

GIBSON: Her one hour -- her one hour incarcerated. It will likely be a best seller.

KING: Did jail change you?

GIBSON: It is a very humbling experience and, yes, it is a real reality check.

KING: Janice, do you think she's going to be bigger?

MIN: Paris will be bigger than ever when she comes out of jail. Let's remember, Paris' brand is trouble. The thing that really put her on the map to all of America was a sex tape that she ended up embracing and ended up actually making money off of herself.

You know, no matter -- scandal never seems to taint Paris. She was caught on camera using the "N" word. She gets into terrible feuds and fights with all of young Hollywood. Her sidekick is stolen, embarrassing e-mails revealed.

Nothing ever seems to slow Paris down. And, let's face it, the reason we're even talking about Paris right now is that people really like to watch people they don't like as much as they like to watch people they do like.

Paris crosses both worlds.

The amazing thing about Paris, when I've met her several times, she's the most incredibly charming person you could ever meet. She's so lovely. When you see her work with the press and fans, she'll stay on a red carpet and sign -- sign autographs for fans for hours and hours and hours.

She's an interesting contradiction. And for that reason, I think the public will be willing to embrace her in -- in her -- in whatever capacity down the road.

KING: Judge, are you affected if a famous person is before you?

HATCHETT: I took an oath not to be, Larry. And that's -- at the end of the day, you really have to try to be very impartial about this. And I often wondered, when I looked at this, why the judge just didn't take her into custody that day and say, you know, enough. Because this is really just (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

KING: You might have put her in custody right then?

HATCHETT: Yes. Yes, I really would have. I would have maybe given her until 6:00 to report back. But I don't think that we have all been served by the fact we've let this go on for more than a month. It's just crazy.

KING: What's like to defend a famous person, Mark?

GERAGOS: If you, as you always say, god save me from the fair treatment, because it isn't fair treatment. When you have, as I've indicated before, I don't care who it is, when you have that kind of scrutiny, it paralyzes everybody. It paralyzes the judge. It paralyzes the prosecutor. Nobody wants to do anything that they're going to be criticized for.

So what they end up doing is giving you the max and prosecuting you to the max or sentencing you to the max.

HATCHETT: I don't think that's always true, Mark. I really don't. I mean I think that there are judges who really sit and listen and really try to make the right ruling (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

GERAGOS: Well, I've had -- I've had that experience. I won't name names. I've had the experience where judges...

HATCHETT: No, I agree. I agree.

GERAGOS: ... have tried to do the right thing...

HATCHETT: I agree that...

GERAGOS: ... but ultimately, at the end of the day, the prosecutor really controls the situation.

KING: Cheryl, do her parents believe that after all of this, she's going to change?

WOODCOCK: You know what?

They are certainly hoping that. They also do feel that this punishment is awfully extreme. But they're hoping that it will turn into something positive, then, perhaps, Paris could become a role model and something really good could come out of this.

KING: Is it extreme, judge?

HATCHETT: I don't think it's extreme, because what we keep forgetting is that she was already on probation. She could have gotten 90 days -- up to 90 days on the first events back in September.

KING: The drunk driving?

HATCHETT: The drunk driving.

GERAGOS: Yes, but as a practical matter, nobody gets that.

HATCHETT: Well, as a practical...

GERAGOS: I mean even if you -- as a practical matter, even if you go to trial and lose, you know, you're not supposed to be punished for exercising your right to a trial. But you do get punished for that if you lose. The most that anybody...

HATCHETT: But she could have gone to jail.

GERAGOS: The most anybody is going to give her is 15 days on a first offense, and that's extremely -- extremely rare.



GERAGOS: Nobody does...

HATCHETT: But she could have...

GERAGOS: Nobody does 45 days on a probationary (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: What would you give her Jody?

MIN: I mean, you know, for her benefit, I think she needs to do a couple of weeks there. And I do have sympathy for the situation.

What I'm curious about, though, is how are they -- and Mark, maybe you can answer this -- how are they going to handle the strip searches for contraband? Are they going to take her and segregate her by herself in a room? Or are they going to line her up with all of the other girls out there?

GERAGOS: She's going to, when -- well, presumably if she actually goes in, the -- what they're going to end up doing with her is treat her on the same line with everybody else. They're not going to do anything any different, because they don't want to be subject of anybody second guessing them.

KING: Off the top, Cheryl, how many days you think she'll serve?

WOODCOCK: Off the top, I'm hoping a few hours.

KING: Janice?

MIN: I think it will end up probably being around 20 days. She'll end up on good behavior, get her sentence reduced. But I think she will end up in there for at least a few weeks.

HATCHETT: I think at least half.

GERAGOS: Twelve hours.

GIBSON: I would say a couple of weeks. Two or three weeks.

KING: Thank you all very much.


Coming up, a celebrity and crime writer unparalleled, Dominick Dunne, also a friend of the Hilton family.

He takes on Paris' problems and other Hollywood stories, as well.

He always is right on top of making news.

Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So here's to you Paris Hilton. Could you hear me when I say you've got everything you want, so could you please just go away?



HILTON: That's hot.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's to you Paris Hilton. Can I say what's on our mind?


LARRY KING, HOST: He's a best-selling author. He's an old friend. He's a regular contributor to "Vanity Fair" magazine. He's well known, for among other things, his coverage of the trials of the rich and famous. He's Dominick Dunne.

By the way, one quick reminder, the greatest interviews of LARRY KING LIVE now available on DVD. All you got to do is go to, We have personal observations on all of the guests, too. Hope you find it fascinating.

We always find Dominick Dunne fascinating. OK, we're talking about the Hiltons and I know you know the parents well, don't you?

DOMINICK DUNNE, FRIEND OF HILTONS: I actually know Rick and Kathy and they're an incredibly nice couple. And you know the thing is, it's -- what nobody understands about it, as wild as Paris is and so forth and so forth, they are really a family. And you see it at Christmas time when they send the family Christmas card. There's two brothers in that family that you never hear anything about that totally stay out of the picture. So they are a unit.

And you know Paris has done a very stupid thing. And I think she should go to jail, by the way. And it's certainly not going to be 45 days because it just looks like rich kids stuff if you...

KING: And it does.

DUNNE: ...if you get out of it and that don't go over.

KING: Rick's surgery, did you hear, they say it went well.

DUNNE: Yes. I didn't know that until I heard it.

KING: How about some people trying to appeal right to the governor?

DUNNE: Well, I mean, it's...

KING: What do you make of all of these signatures asking for it?

DUNNE: Well, that's what I hear. I didn't know that until a little bit ago.

KING: Why do people like her?

DUNNE: She's an astonishing phenomenon. I mean...

KING: I know.

DUNNE: ...she earns a lot of money, you know. That's the thing. She earns something like $7 million to $10 million a year just by going to these openings and these parties. She charges for that. And she is...

KING: But what does she do?

DUNNE: Nothing.

KING: So she's famous for nothing?

DUNNE: Nothing, that's right. And you wonder, she's 26, now when she gets to be 30, is this going to still work? I don't think so.

KING: And you've covered famous people...

DUNNE: Lots of them.

KING: ...celebrities. You're the epitome of a celebrity coverer, if that's such a word. What do you make of this one?

DUNNE: Well, I mean, there's nobody like her. I mean, she's utter -- in fact, she's world famous. She is known all over the world. And it seems like she goes out every night and poses and does those poses. She's in a different dress. She's somebody that people talk about. And, you know, it's her own fault that she's in the trouble she's in.

KING: What do you make, Dominick, of this wave of young people like this, young girls?

DUNNE: Well, I really think about it because the favorite person in my life is my 17-year-old granddaughter, who is beautiful and who has the boys knocking at the door. And I hate it that Paris and the group around her, Lindsay Lohan, are the role models for the young girls of America. And, you know, I don't want my Hanna to...

KING: But how did we get to this?

DUNNE: How do we get to it? Well, we are in the most celebrity- mad phase in the history of our country.

KING: Tabloids add to it?

DUNNE: Absolutely.

KING: Does "Vanity Fair" add to it?

DUNNE: Sadly, yes, but not primarily. I meant that's a -- I mean I always felt that it was a mistake for us to have Paris on the cover, by the way, because -- of "Vanity Fair" because the people who follow her don't read "Vanity Fair" and the "Vanity Fair" reader doesn't care about Paris Hilton.