Like any party girl, Paris Hilton has space in her handbag for only the barest of essentials: a vial of nail varnish for emergency repairs, a mobile phone - and a bag of suspicious-looking leaves.
The fast-living hotel heiress accidentally gave observers a glimpse of the clear plastic wallet, containing what might be mistaken for cannabis, at a Milan fashion show last week.
But last night her publicist Elliot Mintz insisted: "Things are not always as they appear. It would be unfair to draw any conclusions based solely on these photos."
The contents of Miss Hilton's silver handbag were exposed as she reached in to touch up her shocking pink nail varnish while in the front row of a Dolce & Gabbana catwalk show.
It is not the first time the 25-year-old socialite has faced questions over her lifestyle. In June she was seen smoking what appeared to be a cannabis joint outside a Los Angeles nightclub.
At the time, Mr Mintz insisted: "I just want to get something clear with you. Paris Hilton rolled her own tobacco cigarette. It was tobacco that you saw."
The same month she was spotted with a similar roll-up at a party in Miami hosted by rap mogul P Diddy.
She also fuels rumours by holding her roll-ups between her thumb and first finger, as favoured by marijuana smokers, rather than between the usual index and middle fingers.
Last month Miss Hilton, who stands to inherit at least £20million from the hotel chain that bears her name, was charged with drink-driving her Mercedes convertible in LA. She later admitted: "Maybe I was speeding a little bit."
But she has said she never wants to introduce drugs into her party lifestyle - in case they spoil her looks. In a magazine interview last year she said: "I've seen girls out now who've been doing it for so long they look haggard and old. I like my young face. I don't want to look old."