LOS ANGELES – Just days after getting a new cell phone number, college student Shira Barlow was the most popular co-ed in the country.
She had inherited Paris Hilton’s old digits.
With them came all the calls from the celebutante’s B-list friends who didn’t rate a heads-up on her new line.
“Oh my God … Where’s the party?” was typical of the voice mails and text messages that arrived around Hilton’s birthday on Feb. 17, Barlow, a UCLA junior, told the Los Angeles Times. Many late-night callers sounded suspiciously slurred, she said.
But when the socialite was sentenced to jail in May, the wireless cranked up with condolence calls.
“People were scared for her,” the communications major said.
Even one of Hilton’s ex-bodyguards called to send his love, Barlow, 20, said.
After Hilton’s release, pals praised her courage behind bars. “It’s disgusting how they treated you in there, but once again you have showed the world that you can do anything,” one suck-up wrote in a text message.
“I’m so proud of you,” said another.
“I hope you are enjoying Maui,” one pal wrote after Hilton jetted to the Hawaiian island last week.
Barlow didn’t answer repeated calls to her popular cell number Friday.
In big cities like New York and L.A., phone numbers are being recycled in three to six months because of high demand in certain area codes.
New Yorker Laura Maxwell, who got comedian Chris Rock’s old cell number three years ago, says it was one of the best and funniest things that ever happened to her.
“How could you not be entertained by getting the phone number of an A-list Hollywood celebrity?” says Maxwell, 40, who posted a story about her Rock phone experience on her Web site and is featuring it in a book she’s penning.
She fielded calls from Hollywood powerhouses, including producer Jerry Bruckheimer, directors Spike Lee, Peter Farrelly and Ken Burns and actors Adam Sandler and Damon Wayans.
Only TV comic Jerry Seinfeld got annoyed when she asked him: “Who’s calling?” Maxwell said.
Apparently mistaking her question for a tease or a scam, an irate Seinfeld replied: “This is a dumb game. Is Chris there or not?” Maxwell said.
Maxwell notified Rock’s office that he was missing important calls and the grateful star called her back. Hearing that she was doing temporary jobs at the time, the comic offered to help her get a better position and to provide an endorsement for her book if it’s published.
“I didn’t get bizarre calls. Chris Rock is completely different from Paris Hilton,” Maxwell said.