Paris Hilton: Jailbird, sure. Savvy media player, absolutely. If anyone had any doubts about Hilton's talent for turning a personal nightmare into a PR win, the hotel heiress' appearance at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards laid those doubts to rest.
Even though Hilton was due at any moment to check in to prison as a result of a parole violation, she still attended the show and walked proudly down the Los Angeles red carpet.
"Everybody thought because she's going to jail really soon, she's going to drop off the radar," executive producer Mark Burnett said. "But Paris Hilton's very smart. She did the opposite and showed up."
If the paparazzi wanted to trail Hilton everywhere she went, hoping to catch a coveted glimpse of the reality star slinking shamefaced into prison, Hilton's strategy was to step into the eye of the storm. Plus, she just wanted to have a good time.
"I decided to do something nice before I went off," she told MTV News.
Inside the Gibson Amphitheatre, Hilton settled into a prime seat near the stage as host Sarah Silverman came out for her opening monologue. Any question about whether the acerbic comedian would go after Hilton were dismissed when Silverman launched into an off-color joke involving male genitals and prison bars. But while Paris was sitting there taking a beating, she had her own plan in the works.
After staying for almost the entire show, she headed off — not to some glitzy afterparty, but to jail. Meanwhile, the paparazzi were busy chasing celebrities at the Movie Awards. The end result was that all the photogs missed the money shot of Hilton slipping into prison.
"She knew Sarah Silverman would go after her and make it a big, uncomfortable moment," Burnett said. "But she was willing to deal with that because she knew afterwards, when the paparazzi least expected it, she checked herself into jail."
Will the vampires grab more trophies than the slumdog? What was the year's ultimate onscreen WTF moment? It's up to you to decide the winners of the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. Vote now, and tune in on May 31 at 9 p.m. ET, when the big show airs live from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California.
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