Paris Hilton shows up at MTV Awards with jail sentence looming

Paris Hilton expressed fear about her upcoming jail sentence while making a surprise visit to the MTV Movie Awards, saying she was "scared" but ready to do the time.

"I am trying to be strong right now," said Hilton, who wore a black strapless dress and jewels to the event Sunday. She stopped briefly to pose for photos and speak to reporters.

The hotel heiress, ordered to report to jail by Tuesday for violating for violating her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case, said her family, friends and fans have helped her prepare for her nearly three-week sentence behind bars.

"I've received thousands of letters from around the world of support and it's really been inspirational and really helped me," she said. "I'm really scared but I'm ready to do this. And I hope that I'm an example to other young people."

Hilton could start serving her time at before Tuesday but did not tell reporters whether she would wait until the last moment.

Once she arrives, the "Simple Life" star will be housed in the jail's "special needs" unit.

"I did have a choice to go to a pay jail," said Hilton, without giving details. "But I declined because I feel like the media portrays me in a way that I'm not and that's why I wanted to go to county, to show that I can do it and I'm going to be treated like everyone else. I'm going to do the time, I'm going to do it the right way."

When Hilton was sentenced May 4, Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer ruled that she would not be allowed any work release, furloughs or use of an alternative jail or electronic monitoring in lieu of jail.

Hilton will be separated from the general inmate population in a unit that contains 12 two-person cells reserved for police officers, public officials, celebrities and other high-profile inmates, Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore has said. She could have a cellmate.

Though a judge sentenced her to 45 days behind bars, Hilton is expected to serve only 23 days because of a state law that requires shorter sentences for good behavior.

Hilton said the jail sentence had forced her to reflect.

"Even these past couple weeks, it's completely changed my life," she said. "Even though it's a scary thing I'm using it in a positive way and when I come out, I can't wait to start my new life and be even stronger than I am now."

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said a statement would be issued after Hilton was incarcerated.

A call to Hilton's attorney, Howard Weitzman, was not returned Sunday. Her publicist, Elliot Mintz, was reached by e-mail and declined comment.