This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," June 12, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Is there a different side to Paris Hilton that few people see? Paris Hilton's aunt, Kyle Richards, went "On the Record."
VAN SUSTEREN: Kyle, you are one of how many sisters?
KYLE RICHARDS, PARIS HILTON'S AUNT: Three.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who's the oldest?
RICHARDS: Kathy, Kim, and Kyle.
VAN SUSTEREN: Kathy is the mother of?
VAN SUSTEREN: Paris.
RICHARDS: And Nikki and Baron and Conrad.
VAN SUSTEREN: How close are you to Kathy?
RICHARDS: Well, the family is an extremely tight-knit family. You know, we lost our mom five years ago, so I think we've all sort of taken the place of being Mom, you know, to each other.
VAN SUSTEREN: Since this has sort of developed, I guess since May 4, in large amount since the sentencing, can you describe the impact on Kathy and her father and just the whole family, your niece's arrest?
RICHARDS: This has had such an enormous impact on our entire family. No one could ever have imagined going through something like this. I would definitely say it's been the hardest thing since losing our mom — extremely painful, just kind of in daze. And you just can't believe that this is happening over such a minor thing. I'm not saying minor with the DUI because, obviously, that's a big deal. But this was not about a DUI. It was driving with a suspended license. And we just kind of are in shock.
VAN SUSTEREN: If I ran into Paris in a Starbucks, just the two of us, and we were standing in line getting coffee, what do you think my impression of her would be?
RICHARDS: Sweet, kind, gentle, thoughtful.
VAN SUSTEREN: Does she like all the attention she gets?
RICHARDS: I think, at times, it can be flattering. Maybe more so in the beginning, when this all started happening. But the level of fame now is just — I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
VAN SUSTEREN: How did she get famous? I mean, what is it that sort of put her in the limelight?
RICHARDS: You know, when she was younger, they'd say, “Oh, she's famous for doing nothing.” You know, well, she was. You know, she was pretty girl going around New York City, and people knew who she was, and knew who her family was. So that kind of got everyone's attention.
But now, you know, she's done so many things that no one talks about. You know, she has a TV series. She has her movies. She has a CD. She has a perfume company, clothing, handbags. So no one talks about that, but she's doing so much. Yes, when she was younger, she was 15. What are you doing when you're 15?
VAN SUSTEREN: When was the last time you spoke to her?
RICHARDS: Last night.
VAN SUSTEREN: And?
RICHARDS: What can I say? I mean, she's doing better than she was. She's also in shock about what's happened with the press and how big this has become. But she just wants to be able to come out of there, and I think people think of her more as a human being, which people don't.
They talk about her like she doesn't have feelings. I mean, we'll sit there and we'll watch the news, and I hear lies after lies after lies. And I'll call her or I'll call Kathy, and I'll say, “I can't believe they just invent this. It's a complete fabrication. We have to do something.”
VAN SUSTEREN: Take me back to September, when she was first arrested for DUI. How did you hear about it?
RICHARDS: I got a text.
VAN SUSTEREN: From?
RICHARDS: From Nikki.
VAN SUSTEREN: That's her sister.
VAN SUSTEREN: Saying?
RICHARDS: Explaining what happened. And then, of course, I, like I do, flip on the news to hear about my family.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you talk to Kathy, her mother, at that point?
RICHARDS: Of course. My family, when something happens, we're all huddled together, and we really come together and start trying to figure things out.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you think that Paris had a drinking problem or this was just one night out, where she was drinking?
RICHARDS: I mean, Paris's DUI was .08. And yes, DUIs are a very serious matter, but it was .08, which for me is probably two glasses of wine. No, not a drinking problem at all. That was never a concern.
VAN SUSTEREN: Was there an accident involved with it at all?
RICHARDS: No. No accident. And people have to remember she's followed all the time. I mean, you're driving down the street, and you can't miss her. There is, like, you know, 20, 30 cars following her.
VAN SUSTEREN: Paparazzi?
VAN SUSTEREN: All the time?
RICHARDS: All the time.
VAN SUSTEREN: Just non-stop?
VAN SUSTEREN: Out in front of her house?
RICHARDS: Out in front of her house every day.
VAN SUSTEREN: So if she goes out with her friends at night, she's going to have entourage of cameras.
RICHARDS: Always. Always.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think — the Paris Hilton and the giant paparazzi after her is — I mean, it's unusual.
RICHARDS: It's extremely unusual. You know, on Friday, it just completely — blown away by the amount of press. Even she was. I mean, when I see those pictures of her, she looked terrified. I mean, the sheriff's car hit a reporter.
VAN SUSTEREN: So in January, when she got picked up for not having headlights on, at that point, she — it is reported that she was told that she was driving after a suspension.
RICHARDS: Correct. They told her, “Your license is suspended.” She was told her license was suspended for 30 days. The day she got her keys back, it was like a celebratory day. She was so excited, you know, and she'd gotten a new car. She was very happy and excited.
VAN SUSTEREN: Which would have been 30 days from the DUI in September?
RICHARDS: Right. Which is a normal sentence, to have a 30-day driver's license suspension.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who told her that?
RICHARDS: She was told by her team of people.
VAN SUSTEREN: So you say that she got her keys back. Did someone, I mean, hand them?
VAN SUSTEREN: Who...
RICHARDS: She didn't have her keys.
VAN SUSTEREN: Where were her keys?
RICHARDS: Well, it's sort of like, look, license suspended, hand me the keys, you know, and she just had a driver. She had a driver that entire time.
VAN SUSTEREN: So 30 days after the DUI, she gets her keys back.
RICHARDS: She got her keys back.
VAN SUSTEREN: So she can drive, and she's excited.
RICHARDS: She's excited.
VAN SUSTEREN: Were you aware — I mean, was that significant...
RICHARDS: Why would she drive illegally when she's being documented every second?
VAN SUSTEREN: Unless she didn't know it, is your theory.
RICHARDS: Exactly. Is she going to get into her car when she thinks her license is still suspended, when every move she makes is documented? Of course not. So she's pulled over. She's told...
VAN SUSTEREN: In January.
RICHARDS: Yes. She's told, “Your license is suspended.” And she said, “Oh, no, no. It was, but I — I've got it back now.” So she went back. She spoke to her lawyers and said, “I was pulled over, and they said my license is still suspended.” And she was told, “No, no, no, you can drive for work-related purposes.” So she drove again.
VAN SUSTEREN: So Paris, if she were sitting here, would say to me, “Look, I have a driver so I could have had someone drive me around. I thought I could drive, and I'd be silly to drive because I got everybody in the world following me. They know I'm driving.”
VAN SUSTEREN: “And why would I be driving otherwise?”
VAN SUSTEREN: And that would be the proof that she had no knowledge her license was suspended. So May 4, she goes to court for the probation revocation, the driving after suspension. When she went to court that day, she was 10 or 15, 20 minutes late. Did you go to court with her that day?
RICHARDS: No, I did not. You know, there was a lot of talk about that, too. Why she was late and showing disrespect for the court system. When they went to leave — as you could see the news the other day, when Paris leaves, especially under this situation, the amount of press that was outside of the house was out of control. So they decided to go a back gate, which nobody knows about.
VAN SUSTEREN: A back gate at her Hollywood home.
RICHARDS: Back gate at her grandfather's home.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK.
RICHARDS: Well, a neighbor had parked blocking it because we never use that back entrance. So they couldn't get out. So someone had to jump out of the car and try to go and knock on the houses, try to figure out whose car it was. So they were, like, locked in.
VAN SUSTEREN: In court, did she describe the May 4 hearing, what she thought about it, the sentencing?
RICHARDS: She thought that it was extremely harsh and unfair for a traffic violation.
VAN SUSTEREN: And Kathy, your sister, was distressed by it, and also Paris' father.
RICHARDS: Of course. Extremely.
VAN SUSTEREN: Between the time of the May 4 sentencing and the time that she reported in early June, what was her life like?
RICHARDS: Waiting to go, you mean?
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes. What was that like?
RICHARDS: It was like this big, black, heavy cloud hanging over all of our heads, knowing that she was going to be going, and the unknown.
VAN SUSTEREN: On the day that she reported, she went to some awards program. There's been a lot said about that.
RICHARDS: That was strictly a diversion from the press.
VAN SUSTEREN: That was a setup on the press.
RICHARDS: That was a setup. She figured the best time — or they figured the best time would be — you know, because she was scheduled to hand out two awards. So she’d go, throw them off. She didn't want to be followed. She did not want people following her that night, going in. And plus, all the press was there, the perfect time to leave.
VAN SUSTEREN: So she knew when she went to that awards show that that night, she was going to report
RICHARDS: Absolutely. We were all waiting.
VAN SUSTEREN: The family planned it.
RICHARDS: We planned it, and we were all waiting at home to take her. Go, show up, get in there, let them see you’re there. Then you sneak out. The press is already all there. Then we can go and take you in peace.
VAN SUSTEREN: So when she got home after the awards show, before she left, how was she?
VAN SUSTEREN: Emotional?
RICHARDS: Emotional, terrified, and angry that people didn't know her side. She felt that it was really unfair that people didn't believe that she didn't know.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you see her at all when she was under the house detention?
RICHARDS: Yes. I went with her.
VAN SUSTEREN: What was she like?
RICHARDS: She was withdrawn, exhausted, not herself at all.
VAN SUSTEREN: What did she say about the Lynwood facility and what it was like for her, the time she was there?
RICHARDS: Well, she said that the guards were nice and professional, but that it was extremely difficult conditions. You know, it was reported she had three blankets. She never had any more than any other inmate. She had one little thing that they would call a blanket, I guess, and no pillow. You know, she wasn't eating or drinking.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why wouldn't she eat?
RICHARDS: Because she was afraid to eat. There had been some rumors that, you know, people were going to do something to her food, inmates.
VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think of the judge?
RICHARDS: Well, I think he was making his decision based on his own personal opinions.
VAN SUSTEREN: About her?
VAN SUSTEREN: What makes you say that?
RICHARDS: Because most people, for driving with a suspended license, wouldn't get a 45-day sentence.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think Paris reads the references to her as being a spoiled brat?
RICHARDS: Does she...
VAN SUSTEREN: Does she read that? Does she know people say that?
RICHARDS: Oh, of course.
VAN SUSTEREN: What's her response that?
RICHARDS: I think she's developed a thick skin. She's had to. She's getting used to it, but it still hurts. I think it used to hurt less, but now it's starting to bother her more. She has the hopes that when this is all said and done, people will start seeing her as a human being.
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