Paris Hilton was arrested in Las Vegas after a police motorcycle officer smelled marijuana smoke wafting from a vehicle driven by her boyfriend, then found a small amount of cocaine in her handbag, officials said today.
A crowd quickly gathered when Hilton and Las Vegas nightclub mogul Cy Waits were stopped shortly before midnight yesterday in a black Cadillac Escalade near the Wynn Las Vegas resort, police said.
The 29-year-old celebrity socialite was taken into the hotel “to keep her safe” during the initial investigation, police Lieutenant Wayne Holman said.
Police Officer Marcus Martin said the motorcycle officer pulled the Escalade over on Las Vegas Boulevard after noticing smoke that smelled like marijuana. Police later found a substance in Hilton’s handbag that tests showed to be cocaine, Mr Martin said. He did not say how much of the drug was found.
Hilton was arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession.
Waits, 34, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Both were booked into Clark County jail, where Mr Martin said Hilton was released without bail at about 2.45am today.
Less than an hour later, Hilton’s Twitter account was updated with a posting that said the actress was in bed watching the television show 'Family Guy', and then that she was going to sleep. It was unclear if the tweets came from her, were posted by time-release or were sent by someone else.
If convicted of the low-grade charge, Hilton would get probation. Any violation of probation would be punishable by one to four years in Nevada state prison.
Clark County District Attorney David Roger declined to comment about the case today.
Hilton’s lawyer, David Chesnoff, said this morning that he was still gathering facts about the arrest.
“I caution people not to rush to judgment,” he said.
Waits’s lawyer, Richard Schonfeld, said his client posted $2,000 bail and was expected to be released today.
Court appearance dates for Hilton and Waits were not immediately available.
Mr Schonfeld said he was “troubled by the circumstances” leading to the arrest, but declined to specify his concerns.
“As the case proceeds, a lot of facts are going to come to light that will ultimately lead to exoneration,” he said.
Neither Hilton’s manager nor her publicist, Dawn Miller, was available for comment.
A spokeswoman for Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas declined to comment.
Waits and his twin brother, Jesse, are managing partners of the Tryst Nightclub inside Wynn Las Vegas, Drai’s after-hours club at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, and XS The Nightclub at Wynn’s Encore resort.
Earlier this week, Hilton was in the news when a 31-year-old man allegedly tried to break into her Los Angeles home.
Authorities said someone carrying two big knives banged on Hilton’s window on Tuesday. She posted a photo of the arrest on Twitter and described it as “scary”. Nathan Lee Parada faces a burglary charge.
Hilton was arrested this summer after the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup match in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on suspicion of possession of marijuana. The case was then dropped at a midnight court hearing.
Hilton pleaded no contest in 2007 to alcohol-related reckless driving and was sentenced to 45 days in jail. After spending about 23 days in jail, Hilton told CNN host Larry King that the experience caused her to re-evaluate the role partying played in her life. She said she wanted “to help raise money for kids and for breast cancer and multiple sclerosis”.
While most famous for her tabloid exploits and reality TV series 'The Simple Life', Hilton has appeared in the films 'Bottoms Up', 'The Hottie & the Nottie', and 'House Of Wax'.