Paris Hilton’s Mystery Ailment – Back to Jail, But Suspicions Linger

Opinion2.jpgInternet chat rooms are ablaze with speculations about the exact nature of the medical condition that allowed Paris Hilton to spend her remaining term of “imprisonment” in her Hollywood Hills mansion rather than the county jail. Whether it was the jail itself which was at risk of being contaminated with a communicable bug from her, or she herself was at risk of contracting something which is so rare that practically no prisoner needs to be “sent home” is not exactly known. We will never know unless the jail authorities make a statement. Meanwhile, although she has returned to jail for serving her original 40-day sentence, questions about her return “on health grounds” remain unanswered.

The only clues we have got to solve this enigma come from two sources. The first, the syndicated TV show Entertainment Tonight quoted a source close to her family that she developed a rash on her body. Paris’s tryst with rashes is nothing new – last year she was accused of carrying genital herpes rather tastelessly, as it is a quite common human ailment. But this time, as soon as the rash story broke out, millions were convinced that it was the stress of prison that caused it to recur – the herpes virus is rather well-known for that! But then again, if the rash did break out, how would going back to home with a electronically tagged ankle bracelet help in the cure, after it already happened? We need some answers here.

I personally think that scenario two, anonymous prison sources quoted on the celebrity website state that Paris’s psychiatrist found her close to a nervous breakdown, is the more plausible explanation. However, if that is really the case, then the authorities are in some really serious trouble. Every single convicted felon, who would ever be sent to jail in the United States, whether sentenced for drunken driving or even manslaughter, could potentially appeal to be allowed to be under “house arrest” based on this precedence. Even the homeless convicted can apply to stay in motor caravans.

The media’s attempts to present Paris’s case sympathetically is another issue – and I think its utterly obnoxious to post videos and pictures of her crying because of her going back to prison. But I am convinced that it would have been far more humane for the poor girl if the prison authorities allowed much closer family and emotional support in the first instance in “prison” rather than letting her go and then bringing her back. It would not have made a mockery of the penitential system.

Sudip Ghosh, MD

Sudip Ghosh, MD, is a surgeon at the University of Manchester, UK and a medical writer.
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