Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. And, for the love of God, do not run over anybody else.
That's the official order for high-profile publicist and noted Manhattan socialite Lizzie Grubman, as she finally makes her way to prison.
On Wednesday, the onetime rep of Britney Spears and Jay-Z traded in her Manolo Blahnick's for a standard-issue prison uniform. She has begun a 60-day jail sentence leveled as punishment for mowing down a crowd of people outside a Hampton's night club in July 2001 and injuring 16 people.
The publicity princess made headlines for flying into a rage and smashing her father's Mercedes SUV into a crowd outside the swanky Conscience Point Inn after bouncers asked her to move the car. She called the bouncers "white trash" and then fled the scene in another vehicle. By the time she was finally nabbed by cops, it was too late to take a Breathalyzer test.
Try as she might, no amount of spin could extract the party girl and celebrity hobnobber from a police investigation, felony charges and a handful of multimillion dollar personal-injury lawsuits. So, after more than a year of wrangling, Grubman's attorney (who is incidentally her powerful entertainment lawyer dad Allen Grubman) worked out a deal.
Rather than face a potential seven years in prison if convicted, Lizzie pleaded guilty to a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident and a misdemeanor assault charge. In return, Suffolk County Court Judge Michael Mullen handed down a penalty of 60 days in jail, 280 hours of community service and five years' probation.
Grubman's attorneys said they settled most of the lawsuits from the crash victims, as well.
At the time of the sentencing, Grubman issued a teary apology to the victims of her tantrum, saying "I'm haunted by it daily."
This week, Grubman told New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams that she was scared but was prepared for jail. "I'm so sorry," Grubman said. "I want to hit myself in the head. There's no excuse. I deserve doing the time. I deserve punishment for leaving the scene."
Victims and legal eagles alike seem to have reached a consensus that the punishment was fair, and that Grubman is sufficiently apologetic.
"I think she was treated like anyone else," said prosecutor Joy Watson.
"I believe that you're truly sorry," Mullen told Grubman.
The überpublicist will spend the next two months among the general jail population (she didn't ask for protective custody) living in a 6-by-8-foot cell--quite a switch from her trendy digs on Manhattan's Upper East Side. There, she and her reported 87 pairs of designer pants and 67 pairs of shoes inhabit a two-bedroom, four-bath duplex.
Prosecutors say she could be out in 40 days with good behavior.