Want Greta's blog delivered directly to your e-mail box? Click here to sign up!
Monday night we will be airing our interview with Larry Birkhead that we taped on Thursday in California. You will get to see Larry with his daughter Dannilynn at Dannilynn's inherited home — the home that Anna Nicole Smith owned in California. We spent a long time with Larry and Dannilynn, so I think you will enjoy it. I have posted some still pictures from that interview on today's blog.
• Click here to check out my photo essay
Second, guess where we are! Yes, back in California! We took the redeye back Friday night, arriving in Washington, D.C., Saturday morning about 7 a.m. ET and Sunday we took a flight back to California! We expect to leave on the redeye tonight back for D.C. (7a.m. arrival Tuesday.) The trip — if you did the math — is a short one.
I can't tell you how many people told me in the last 36 hours that he or she had no interest in Paris Hilton... and my thought, if there is universal no interest, why was it on the FRONT PAGE of both The Washington Post and The New York Times on Saturday? And on every electronic news outlet? Could all the news organizations have it wrong? People want to think that they have interest in only matters of war — which are profoundly important — but the truth is that our interest strays into other areas... including Paris Hilton. For better or for worse, with the amount of sources for news, there is room for lots of topics and lots on any given topic. So of course, you can pick what you watch. (As an aside, I do read and watch with some amusement those who write in papers or talk on TV complaining about the amount of coverage of a celebrity topic and how appalled they are — that is the sneaky way to get people's attention to your news article or your show without that person, in his or her mind, getting his hands dirty covering celebrity news. It is the oldest trick in the book.)
In case anyone has any question whatsoever about the offense of DUI (Paris Hilton's original arrest), it is a very, very, very serious crime. People kill themselves when driving under the influence... or worse: kill others. The simple question that we should ask: Is she being treated about the same as others who have been arrested for DUI and then violated probation? It is not whether you are a fan of Paris Hilton or not that should form your opinion about what happened... but whether her treatment is fair, too lenient or too stiff in comparison to others?
Since I happened to be in Los Angeles at the time Paris Hilton's Thursday-Friday news explosion, I went to court to observe it and report firsthand. I was quite surprised by what I saw — it was not what I expected. I observed Paris from a few feet away — I am not a doctor — and she appeared to me to be a young woman who is/was sick. I have no idea what is wrong with her (and, yes, it could simply be the acute stress of the situation, but it looked to be more than that to me.)
I was also told a number of things while in Los Angeles on Friday which I write about below. I have no personal knowledge of these things but since I heard them from sources close to Paris Hilton, I am repeating them here for you to consider. You decide whether you believe this or not... again, I have no firsthand knowledge of this but was told it:
1) There have been news accounts that Paris was going to have or had a party at her house the night she was home for her house detention. I am told this is not true. There were things like bakery items delivered to her house but that it was a publicity stunt by a local bakery. The bakery knew it would receive great attention by the public delivery and thus seized the moment to get it.
2) Paris was about 10 to 20 minutes late for court the day of her sentencing, May 4. Of course everyone was scandalized as it showed disrespect for the judge and the court and seemed to ignore the seriousness of the matter. Apparently the family tried to sneak out a back gate to avoid the paparazzi in the front of their home and ran into a problem: First the gate was stuck or locked (they never use it) and second there was a car belonging to someone (not family) blocking the outside of it. Again, I have no firsthand knowledge of this, but merely tell you what I was told.
3) Paris did not appear at 9 a.m. on Friday in court. First, we in the media were told at the door of the courthouse at 7 a.m. by the court spokesperson that it had been OK'd — presumably by the judge — that she appear by phone and not in person. I was standing one foot from the court spokesperson as he announced it. It turns out that the judge never OK'd a phone appearance. Did the sheriff decide this without talking to the judge? I have no idea. Paris was not permitted to leave her house and go to the court alone so she could not just get in the car and go. She was under house detention and the only way for her to get to court was for the sheriff's department to pick her up at her home. The sheriff's department did not go get her at her home until well after 9 a.m. Once they arrived I don't know if she got in the car right away or not since I was inside the courthouse at the time.
Now for some e-mails — randomly picked, so don't be suspicious that there is some agenda by the number in favor of or against Paris Hilton. I am just grabbing what I first see:
E-mail No. 1
Paris Hilton should receive a fine; then community service and finally, rehab for the withdrawal symptoms she is experiencing.
Ft. Washington, MD
E-mail No. 2
I am amazed and puzzled as to intense hatred that the public has shown towards Paris Hilton. For crying out loud, everyone acts as if she is an evil cold-blooded child rapist or murderer. I certainly don't admire her lifestyle or character but I think it is deplorable she continues to be the butt of jokes because she made the mistake of trusting a boyfriend who exploited and shamed her by releasing the notorious sex tape for the world to see. She is harmless as a kitten and shouldn't be taking up valuable jail space that would be better used to house violent criminals, nor should she be used as a platform for the likes of Al Sharpton who profit on pseudo racism issues to spout nonsense. This is reverse discrimination at its worst. Had she been ugly and poor she would have been given 10% time and released. It appears to me that the people that are so venomously condemning her are unhappy, miserable and envious of her money and beauty. Her only apparent fault is that she is young, foolish, and perhaps spoilt- none of which is worthy of such intense hatred. It is clear to me that those that are throwing tantrums over her perceived special treatment are boiling with envy and get some perverse pleasure by wanting to see her suffer for being born beautiful and rich. I must be the only person on the planet that doesn't hate her. What is it that others know that I have missed? Something on the tape? I'm probably the only one on the planet that hasn't viewed it as well.
Pine Mountain, GA
E-mail No. 3
The county supervisor didn't know what he was talking about. Also, you missed the Bacca interview. The under sheriff made a 10 second appearance, saying it was illegal for the sheriff's department to give the medical information to the judge. Only the accused, or her attorney could do that. Most of your panel are clueless on this issue. They didn't listen to Bacca's speech. Bacca should have just free Paris, without any bracelets, etc., under his own authority. What he did, with the bracelet thing, was to contravene the judge's orders and so caused all the problem.
Hopefully, Paris will be freed early next week.
Long Beach, CA
E-mail No. 4
Robert Shapiro and Tom Messereau are two of the best in Calif. I have 49 yrs experience as a former prosecutor and defense atty. past pres. of the criminal courts bar and many time part time temp. judge. I can tell you that they both were right on the Hilton case. Judges from N.Y. or other so called experts INCLUDING YOUR USUAL RANTING SUSPECTS spout irrelevances.
She needs a writ of habeas corpus for unconstitutional desperate treatment and bad attorney representation by allowing her to plead out in front of that particular judge without telling her about the possible consequences.
She probably was not in court. Also any good lawyer would have waited to be before a trial judge and then work out the deal. She will be entitled to bail Sheriff Baca is correct and has the right to release her. The Judge is dead wrong. The hate generated against her is palpable.
E-mail No. 5
I think you have it on the mark, they are not doing Paris Hilton right. They are using Her. Why would they say that they are using her to show everyone that Rich young women have to be taught a lesson. I think they need to worry more about poor young men shooting and killing young women. Why on earth is these L. A. courts out to bring her so down. I think they just want publicity. I think the Judge did not use good judgment just as everyone else in this whole situation. I think to be honest that the Sheriff was not out for publicity I might be wrong, but I think the man was just concern about Paris and was scared that she might die or something in his jail, then what type of mess would that sheriff be in? I think he was scared and trying to protect his jail and himself which I would have too if I had someone that was declining. Unfortunately I truly think the Sheriff meant well.
I feel sorry for Paris, I think they did her like a dirty Dog...
E-mail No. 6
Why are you people going crazy over this Paris crap? She is just a spoiled little rich brat that is use to having control over everyone around her and now she has lost her control.
You people talk about her crying in court, shaking in court and not being able to sleep! DUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!
She is in jail, she has lost her control, she is a little cry baby, she wants mommie, give me a break.
I am a retired cop of 40 years and I have seen prisoners crying, shaking, crying shaking, could not sleep, could not eat but they finally did eat. Some of your guests talk about no one else has been sentenced to time in jail for what she did, but others said they have. I can understand why they have so much drunk driving there in LA, and why the officers there have so many people running from the police. PUT THEM IN JAIL SOMETIME AND THAT WILL SLOW ALL THOSE THINGS DOWN.
I bet Paris does not have any trouble letting the people take pictures of her and talking to her lawyer (if they will be honest about it).
This is sick, please go back to your normal show.
E-mail No. 7
Now it's the poor little rich SICK girl defense. NO, NO, NO!
Paris Hilton and/her lawyers had a responsibility to HONESTLY answer questions regarding her physical and mental status and to advise the authorities about what medications she was taking.
Once again, the Hiltons and their representatives have placed themselves in an unfavorable position and want others to assume responsibility. Money or no money, we all need to follow the rules and proceed through the system.
You always have a great show!
E-mail No. 8
Rich brat or not, Paris Hilton is a victim of a cheriff and a Judge, yet she is being punished?
Thanks for treating the poor young lady as a human — and keep it up!
Dr. Robert Nelson
E-mail No. 9
If Paris truly had deteriorating medical problems, maybe she should have made them aware of what medications she was taking upon entry in the jail instead of going without so her condition would deteriorate. Sounds like Paris isn't as dumb as most people think. Also, if her condition was so bad she had to be "reassigned" why would she not need to seek medical attention immediately, rather than going straight to her home? Maybe whatever he condition is, is curable by pool side lounging?
E-mail No. 10
Paris, her psychiatrist, her lawyers and her parents all knew she was on medication. It was their responsibility to advise the court and/or the sheriff about it. Supposedly her doctor visited her everyday she was in jail and despite the fact she was "deteriorating" he never advised the sheriff that she needed her medication. It seems clear that it was their intention from the beginning to use this as an excuse to get her out. Since we know that the L.A. Sheriff's Dept. has a medical facility that can administer whatever treatment she might need, it seems to me you should be blaming either the Hilton and her representatives or the Sheriff's Dept. for not properly screening her. Baca should be held in contempt by the judge and spend some time in jail himself!
West Palm Beach, FL
E-mail No. 11
As you might know, if you are able to remember from all of the e-mails you receive, I am a real conservative. However, I believe this whole thing is a farce. Not as you might think. Should Paris be punished? Yes. Should the judge have done what he did? No. Should the sheriff have done what he did? Yes.
End of story... and I appreciate your fine coverage. You were not too far from where I live when you were at the Lynwood CC. I'm about 15 miles east and a bit north. In Downey, right next to Lynwood on the east side. I so wanted to drive over to say hello to you, but knew it would be a zoo and I probably wouldn't be about to get through, so stayed home and watched you on TV.
E-mail No. 12
Paris should be looked at like any other person — I was under the impression that justice was BLIND. It rocks my belief on the entire justice system and puts me in an uneasy state that just because people are jealous of her and her lifestyle — they can take on this mob attitude and want to change our system because they do not like her!?
Whatever the norm is for anyone else is what her sentence should have been. Further — I am bothered that they can toy and change her sentence like this. I put myself into her shoes and tried to imagine what I would do. Personally, with that kind of money, I would own LA county and I would also get that judge removed. He is a traffic judge trying to get his name out there,. he is no better than Paris. At least Paris got fame from her last name and her looks- not to mention her top selling single!
This judge is trying to get 15 mins of fame — I hope he goes down in history as one of the worst and this should expose why he cannot be judge — he is abusing his power! He is not blind and that to me is proof he is not competent as a judge. It's a shame she has already spent more time in jail than many other people that have done much worse crimes.
SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE — IS THERE NOT ANYONE OVERSEEING JUDGES?
As far as the example thing goes — point taken. If you're a celeb, you will be treated 500X's worse! Unless of course you're a liked celeb — then you will be out before the ink dries. So messed up!
I hope her health issues are somehow relieved and someone steps up and treats this girl FAIRLY. Get her out of there!
Send your thoughts and comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch "On the Record" weeknights at 10 p.m. ET