"She fulfilled her debt," Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore told The AP. "She was obviously in good spirits. She thanked people as she left."
The spirited departure of the 26-year-old socialite and hotel heiress from prison was a far cry from how she entered Century Regional Detention Facility on Friday, June 8 in tears.
She had initially begun to serve her 45-day sentence on Sunday, June 3 after attending the MTV Movie Awards, however she was reassigned to home confinement only three days later due to what the Sheriff's Department termed "severe medical problems" that the prison system couldn't handle and -- due to privacy laws -- weren't able to publicly disclose. She was given an electronic monitoring bracelet and was to serve the remainder of her sentence from home.
But because Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer's May 4 sentencing ruling had specifically stated that Hilton should not be eligible for early reason or electronic monitoring, she was taken back to jail the morning of June 8 for a hearing to determine her fate. Sauer ruled that The Simple Life star be put back behind bars to "serve out her entire 45-day sentence." She left the courtroom screaming, "It's not right!" and requesting the aid of mother Kathy, who was there Tuesday morning to pick her daughter up from prison with Hilton's father Rick, according to The AP.
Hilton was officially released at 12:15AM PT on Tuesday morning, according to E! News, which added that prior to emerging to throngs of media members, Hilton slipped into one of the detention center's bathrooms and removed her standard-issue orange jumpsuit for dark jeans, a white T-shirt and an olive jacket. After a smile and wave to the press and her adoring public, Hilton reportedly jumped in her parents' black SUV and was whisked to the family's compound in Beverly Hills' Benedict Canyon instead of her Hollywood Hills mansion.
Hilton will remain on probation until March 2009, according to The AP. Community service, which could include a public-service announcement, can reportedly reduce Hilton's probation period by up to 12 months.
"I'm so much more grateful for everything that I have, even just to have a pillow at night or food or anything. My gratitude has gone up so much and I just realize that the media used me to make fun of and be mean about. I'm frankly sick of it. I want to use my fame in a good way," Hilton told American Idol and E! News host Ryan Seacrest during a phone interview last Thursday. "I'm just excited to start this new life. I appreciate everything now and I don't want to... I think there're a lot of bad people that I was around and I don't want to surround myself with those types of people anymore."