With hugs for friends, family and attorneys and tears for herself, publicist Lizzie Grubman went to jail Wednesday for backing into a dozen people outside a trendy Southampton, N.Y., club last year.
"I hope the victims find it in their hearts to forgive me," she told Acting State Supreme Court Justice Michael Mullen before he imposed a sentence of 60 days in jail, 280 hours of community service and five years probation. "I am haunted by the memory."
Mullen told her he believes her remorse is real. He also gave his view on why the case attracted such rabid interest, almost from the moment she drove her father's black Mercedes-Benz SUV backward into a crowd of people waiting to get into the Conscience Point Inn on July 7, 2001.
Grubman pleaded guilty in August to third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, and leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, a felony.
She had been charged with second-degree assault in a 26-count indictment and could have faced a maximum of eight years in prison.
Part of the fascination with the case had to do with someone of her wealth and status getting in trouble, Mullen said.
Her clients have included rapper Jay-Z and pop star Britney Spears. Some of her clients also employ her father, entertainment lawyer Allen Grubman.
Her "arrogant, rash" remarks before the incident didn't help, and neither did the sheer number of victims, Mullen said.
Shortly before the incident, witnesses said, she swore at a bouncer who asked her to move the car from a fire lane and called him "white trash."
In the letter, Grubman said she was distraught and distracted that day because her mother had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer that morning.
The disease took her life three weeks later.
"I should have been with her, not at Conscience Point or anyplace else," Grubman wrote.
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