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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 May 2007, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
Hilton backs online pardon appeal
Paris Hilton
Ms Hilton 'provides hope for young people', the petition says

Celebrity heiress Paris Hilton is backing an online petition seeking a pardon of her 45-day prison sentence because she enlivens "mundane" lives.

The petition to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger also claims she was being used as a scapegoat to highlight the dangers of drink-driving.

Hilton was sentenced after being found guilty of violating her probation for a drink-driving conviction.

She must start her jail term by 5 June or risk a doubling of her sentence.

'Role model'

In a message on a MySpace website, Ms Hilton apparently endorsed the online appeal, saying: "My friend Joshua started his petition, please help and sihn it (sic). I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!"

If the late Former President Gerald Ford could find it in his heart to pardon the late Former President Richard Nixon ... we undeniably support Paris Hilton being pardoned
Online petition seeking a
pardon for Paris Hilton

The petition paints Ms Hilton as a role model who "provides hope for young people all over the US and the world. She provides beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives".

It also draws parallels between other high-profile US figures who were forgiven for their misdeeds.

"If the late former President Gerald Ford could find it in his heart to pardon the late former President Richard Nixon after his mistake(s), we undeniably support Paris Hilton being pardoned for her honest mistake," it says.

Mr Schwarzenegger's press secretary, Aaron McLear, said the governor would not become involved in any case "until the individual has exhausted their judicial remedies".

Ms Hilton's representative, Elliot Mintz, could not verify whether the MySpace message attributed to his celebrity client was genuine, but he did say the petition "appeared to be authentic".

Separately, her lawyers have said they will appeal against the sentence.

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