(CBS/AP) Always one to make the scene, Paris Hilton was on hand with other celebs at the MTV Movie Awards Sunday. But what she was talking about was jail — and her fears.
A few hours later, she began her sentence.
The 26-year-old heiress was booked at 11:38 p.m. Sunday into the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, an industrial area about five miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, according to the sheriff's inmate locator Web site.
According to TMZ.com, Hilton's lawyer picked her up at her parents' home and then drove her to the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles as a ruse to throw off the paparazzi.
The report says Hilton was then transferred to the Lynwood facility to begin serving her sentence.
Hilton expressed fear about her upcoming jail sentence while making a surprise visit to the MTV Movie Awards Sunday, saying she was "scared" but ready to do the time.
Hilton showed up wearing a black strapless dress and jewels in her long blond hair. The hotel heiress stopped briefly to pose for photos and speak to reporters.
"I am trying to be strong right now," Paris said of her jail time set to begin Tuesday. "I'm really scared but I'm ready to face my sentence."
"Even though it's a scary thing I'm using it in a positive way and when I come out, I can't wait to start my new life and be even stronger than I am now."
"I did have a choice to go to a pay jail," said Hilton, without giving details. "But I declined because I feel like the media portrays me in a way that I'm not and that's why I wanted to go to county, to show that I can do it and I'm going to be treated like everyone else. I'm going to do the time, I'm going to do it the right way."
Ashlan Gorse, editor at large at Life and Style Weekly magazine, caught up with Hilton on Saturday night.
"She was going all over the city. I met up with her at Area (a Los Angeles night club)," Gorse told The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen. "She was there. She was there with a couple friends. She was walking around, hugging everybody, saying her last goodbyes. She did look a little nervous, but she's Paris, she always looks good. The paparazzi were following her around, of course. It was a quick in and out and said her goodbyes for 23 days."
When Hilton was sentenced May 4, Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer ruled that she would not be allowed any work release, furloughs or use of an alternative jail or electronic monitoring in lieu of jail.
Hilton said her family, friends and fans have helped her prepare for her time behind bars.
"I've received thousands of letters from around the world of support and it's really been inspirational and really helped me," she said. "I'm really scared but I'm ready to do this. And I hope that I'm an example to other young people."
But though she spent her last night of freedom with her Hollywood cool crowd she got little sympathy from her peers at the award ceremony.
"I don't wish jail or prison on anybody whether they deserve it or not," singer and actor Tyrese Gibson said. "But I just hope that while she's in there for the 23 days she sits there and thinks about her life."
"You shouldn't drive while drunk that's the bottom line. Hire a driver, you make enough money. Hire a driver," actress Amanda Bynes said.
Hilton said the jail sentence had forced her to reflect, though she didn't offer many details.
"Even these past couple weeks, it's completely changed my life," she said. "Even though it's a scary thing I'm using it in a positive way and when I come out, I can't wait to start my new life and be even stronger than I am now."
Hilton was ordered to serve her approximately three-week sentence for violating probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case.
Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said a statement would be issued after the hotel heiress was incarcerated.
On Saturday, about 15 photographers, reporters and television crews staked out the entrances to the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood waiting for the celebutant's arrival. Authorities had also cordoned off a grassy area outside the Los Angeles County jail for the media.
At the 2,200-bed facility, the only concession to Hilton's celebrity is a cell in a separate unit for high profile inmates. But Gorse said she heard a cellmate — a woman in jail for reckless driving — was already picked for Hilton.
The prospect of Hilton's arrival was on the minds of some at Lynwood.
"If it was me, I'd want to see her, because she's famous!" said Trishan Bell, 29, during a visit with her mother, who is serving an 8-year sentence for drug-related offenses.
Susannah Johnson, who was released Saturday after a one-day stay at the jail, said many inmates were angry at Hilton, believing officials were making room for the starlet at the expense of others coping with crowded conditions.
"The only advice I could give her when she comes is to shut her mouth and do the time," said Johnson, 35, of Claremont.
Though a judge sentenced her to 45 days behind bars, Hilton is expected to serve only 23 days because of a state law that requires shorter sentences for good behavior.
The "Simple Life" star was expected to be housed in the jail's "special needs" unit.