Socialite Paris Hilton took some of the spotlight away from the World Cup after she was questioned on suspicion of possession of marijuana, then had the case dropped at a midnight court hearing.
Hilton appeared in a FIFA World Cup courtroom after being detained during the second half of a quarter final match between Brazil and the Netherlands, won 2-1 by the Dutch, at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
The authorities dropped the charges against Hilton, after her co-accused and a former Playboy playmate of the month, Jennifer Rovero, “acknowledged to be in possession of cannabis, and pleaded guilty,” said Brigadier Sally De Beer, a spokeswoman for South African police.
Rovero, 31, from New York, was sentenced to a fine of 1,000 rand or 30 days imprisonment, Ms De Beer said.
Police said Hilton and Rovero were taken into custody after officers could smell cannabis coming from their direction, while they were outside the stadium.
Bodyguards then ushered the two inside the stadium, where police apprehended them, the police said in a statement.
A publicist for Hilton said the incident was a “misunderstanding.”
“Paris Hilton was questioned today by police in South Africa on allegations of smoking marijuana,” publicist Dawn Miller said.
“However I can confirm that the incident was a complete misunderstanding and it was actually another person in the group who did it,” the statement said. “The case has been dropped against Paris and no charges will be made.”
When told the case had been dropped, Hilton said “thank you” and left the courtroom.
Hilton wrote on Twitter later: “Hey guys, there’s a lot of crazy rumours going around. Just want you all to know the truth. Everything is completely fine. I was not charged or arrested, cause I didn’t do anything.”
She said she was helping police with their investigation.
“Everyone was super nice and friendly to me,” Hilton wrote. “I love South Africa! Such an amazing place, especially during The World Cup! Hope that clears everything up.”