Paris Hilton has said she is not the same person since being jailed and has vowed to no longer "act dumb".

In a phone call with ABC journalist Barbara Walters the 26-year-old hotel heiress also revealed that she had turned to religion to help her cope with her punishment.

Her apparent wake-up call comes after a judge ruled on Friday that she should be sent back to jail in Los Angeles, overruling a sheriff's decision to place her under house arrest due to an undisclosed medical condition.

News that Paris had been sent home from prison after serving just three days of a 23-day sentence sparked accusations that she had received special treatment because of her celebrity status.

But despite reports suggesting that she has been suffering from psychological problems, Paris told Walters that she was "hanging in there" since her return to jail and had decided to drop a planned appeal against her sentence.

Paris, who was jailed after violating probation following an earlier conviction for alcohol-related reckless driving, made the startling revelation during a phone conversation with the TV journalist on Sunday.

Speaking from jail, she told Walters: "I'm not the same person I was. I used to act dumb. It was an act.

"I am 26 years old, and that act is no longer cute," she said, according to extracts of her comments reported on ABC's website.

Paris, a well-known face on the Hollywood party circuit and reality TV star, also indicated that she might now turn her energies to more worthy projects such as charity work and said she believed she could "make a difference" to the world.

"I have been thinking that I want to do different things when I am out of here," she revealed, indicating that a newly found religious conviction might be behind her decision to turn over a new leaf.

"God has given me this new chance," Paris proclaimed.

Whether the wealthy heiress will keep to her word and become famous for something other than her social life will remain to be seen following her release from prison.

12/06/2007 06:38:25