Mom knows

THE HILTON who made the most noise in and out of court last week was not named Paris. Kathy Hilton, mother of the notorious party girl, became a media magnet herself at her daughter's probation-violation hearing.

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Published: Fri 11 May 2007, 10:51 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:31 AM

She laughed in the courtroom when a city prosecutor argued that Paris deserved jail time. When a judge ordered the 26-year-old Paris to serve 45 days in county jail, Mrs. Hilton blurted out: 'May I have your autograph?'

She also shared her feelings with reporters outside: "This is pathetic and disgusting, a waste of taxpayer money with all this nonsense. This is a joke."

While her media exposure does not rival that of her famous daughter, Hilton is no stranger to the spotlight.

She was a guest star on the television show 'Happy Days' in 1977 and appeared on 'The Rockford Files' in '78. She hosted a programme on QVC and starred in her own NBC reality show in 2005, 'I Want to Be a Hilton', in which contestants competed for a chance to live like a socialite for a year.

Accompanying her adult daughter to court made Hilton a public face again. She came as a concerned parent, said Dorian Traube, a professor of social work at the University of Southern California.

"Any time your kids stumble, you question yourself as a parent," she said. "She has one daughter that's done really well and another that keeps stumbling in the public eye. For a family that's very prominent, it's probably quite humiliating."

It is common for families to come and show support in high-profile court cases, Traube said, but Hilton's outspoken behaviour is a little unusual.

"Kathy Hilton acted as if her daughter was a minor in the way she had to give a statement," the professor said. "Not only is she enabling Paris' behaviour, she's perpetuating it."

Hilton has publicly defended Paris before, calling her 'vulnerable'.

"She's eccentric, she's herself and she never hurts anybody," she told the London newspaper The Guardian in December 2005. "It upsets me that she gets taken advantage of, but I think we've all learned to deal with it."

Hilton compared her daughter to 'Bambi' in a 2005 interview with The Times of London.

"She's like a little deer," she said.

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