Paris Hilton is arrested for cocaine possession

Heiress detained on drugs charges for the third time this year

Paris Hilton was released from jail yesterday after an arrest on cocaine possession in Las Vegas. The socialite was picked up late on Friday night after police noticed marijuana smoke coming from the car she was in.

Police spokesman Marcus Martin said: "Officers noticed a vehicle leaving smoke trail of a controlled substance [and] made a stop based on that." He also confirmed the heiress was found to be in possession of cocaine but did not know how much.

The man driving the car was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of drugs but cannot be named.

Following the arrest, Hilton was booked into the Clark County Detention Centre and held there before being released in the early hours of yesterday morning. As yet, there are no details about a possible court date.

Just hours after her release, she posted a message on Twitter saying: "Going to bed. Sweet dreams everyone."

The arrest capped a difficult few weeks for the heiress. Yesterday, law enforcement sources established that Hilton's boyfriend, Las Vegas nightclub owner Cy Waits, had pulled a gun on an intruder in her LA home.

Earlier in the month, the hair extension company Hairtech International filed a £22m lawsuit against her, claiming Hilton breached a contract to promote their hair extensions after wearing those by a rival company. According to the claim filed at Los Angeles Superior Court, Hilton's "public debauchery" was also contrary to the agreement. The claim went on to state that Hilton was responsible for company losses of £4m after a 2007 jail term for driving offences prevented her from attending a launch party for the brand.

When charged with alcohol-related reckless driving in 2007, Hilton pleaded no contest, and was given a sentence of 45 days in jail. Of that sentence, she served only 23 days and was held in a special block reserved for high-profile inmates. After the experience Hilton told the US television host Larry King that she had been forced to re-evaluate her life. A seemingly reformed Hilton vowed to give up her partying lifestyle and instead "help raise money for kids and for breast cancer and multiple sclerosis".

But in July this year, she was again arrested after the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup match in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on suspicion of possession of marijuana. After appearing at a special midnight court hearing where she was referred to only as "accused number one", the charges against her were dropped. Instead, a friend with her at the stadium was found guilty and sentenced to pay a fine or spend 30 days in jail. Following the arrest, Hilton claimed she had merely been "assisting the police with the investigation and answering their questions". A week later, she was detained and released after being caught in possession of cannabis at an airport in Corsica.

Hilton's lifestyle has backfired on her on a number of occasions. In 2007, it was reported that after a 2003 sex tape scandal and numerous arrests, she had been disowned by her grandfather Barron Hilton II. He is said to have felt sufficiently provoked to leave 97 per cent of his £1.2bn fortune to the Conrad N Hilton fund for underprivileged and disabled children.

Two months before the report of a family rift, the news channel CNN had discussed footage from the ParisExposed website that featured Hilton using the ethnic slurs "nigger", "chink" and "jappy", and the derogatory term "faggot". She denied accusations of racism, but former friends claimed she had commonly used such terms in private.

Hilton initially appeared in the public eye after starring in the reality television series The Simple Life. She has since had minor film roles and a short-lived career as a recording artist.

No one was available yesterday to comment on the arrest.

Timeline: Ups and downs of a socialite

November 2003 One Night In Paris sex tape leaked online.

December 2003 Fox reality television series The Simple Life begins.

2005 Dates two Greek shipping heirs in a row.

2006 Debut single "Stars Are Blind" is a top-10 hit in 17 countries.

January 2007 Launch of ParisExposed website.

May 2007 Jailed for 45 days for alcohol-related driving offences.

December 2007 Hilton's grandfather writes her out of his will.

July 2010 Tried for possession of marijuana.

August 2010 Arrested for possession of cocaine.

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