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Paris Hilton

Updated: Jan 16, 2022

Paris Hilton

Paris Whitney Hilton (born February 17, 1981) is an American media personality, socialite, businesswoman, model, singer, and actress. She is a great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels. Born in New York City, and raised there and in Beverly Hills, California, Hilton first attracted tabloid attention in the late 1990s, when she became a fixture in NYC's late-night scene. She ventured into modeling at age 19, signing with Donald Trump's agency Trump Model Management. After David LaChapelle photographed her and her sister Nicky for the September 2000 issue of Vanity Fair, Hilton was proclaimed "New York's leading It Girl" in 2001.[1] In 2003, a leaked 2001 sex tape with her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon, later released as 1 Night in Paris, catapulted her into global fame, and the reality television series The Simple Life, in which she starred with her friend and socialite counterpart Nicole Richie, started its five-year run on Fox, reaching 13 million viewers.

Hilton published her debut book, Confessions of an Heiress (2004), which became a New York Times Best Seller, landed her first major film role in the horror remake House of Wax (2005) and released her self-titled debut studio album, Paris (2006), which reached number six on the Billboard 200, and respectively produced the successful single "Stars Are Blind". Her other reality television ventures include MTV's Paris Hilton's My New BFF franchise (2008–2011), Oxygen's The World According to Paris (2011), Viceland's Hollywood Love Story (2018), and Netflix's Cooking With Paris (2021). She has played small roles in Hollywood films and television series, produced several of her own projects, and recorded a line of standalone singles. She was also the subject of the documentaries Paris, Not France (2008), The American Meme (2018) and This Is Paris (2020). In 2012, Hilton made her debut as a DJ at Brazil's Pop Music Festival. She held a residence at the Amnesia nightclub in Ibiza between 2013 and 2017, was the highest-paid female DJ in 2014,[3] and has performed at various festivals, such as Summerfest and Tomorrowland. In 2021, Hilton began hosting her podcast show, This is Paris, on IHeartRadio.[4][5]

A polarizing and often derided celebrity, Hilton is credited with influencing the revival of the famous for being famous phenomenon throughout the 2000s,[6] and was, for a number of years, one of the world's most ubiquitous public figures. She appeared in the 2007 Guinness World Records as the Most Overrated Celebrity, while Forbes ranked her as the Most Overexposed Celebrity in 2006 and 2008. Critics indeed suggest that she exemplifies the celebutante—a household name not through talent or work, but through inherited wealth and lavish lifestyle. Hilton has parlayed her media fame into an eponymous brand, which includes 19 product lines, 45 boutiques worldwide, and an urban condominium development in Manila, Philippines. Her perfume line alone has brought in over US$2.5 billion in revenue to date.[7][8] Variety named her its "Billion Dollar Entrepreneur" in 2011.[9]

Early life

NYC's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where Hilton lived her teenage years and started as a socialite

Hilton was born on February 17, 1981, in New York City to Richard "Rick" Hilton, a businessman, and Kathy Hilton, a socialite and former child actress.[10][11] The oldest of four children, she has one sister, Nicky Hilton (born 1983), and two brothers, Barron Hilton II (born 1989) and Conrad Hughes Hilton (born 1994). Her paternal great-grandfather was Conrad Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels, while her maternal aunts are television personalities Kim and Kyle Richards. Hilton has Norwegian, German, Italian, English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry.[12][13][14] The family followed the Catholic faith.[15][16]

Hilton moved frequently in her youth, living in Beverly Hills, the Hamptons, and a suite in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. Her relatives have described her as "very much a tomboy" who dreamed about becoming a veterinarian. According to her mother, she would save up her money to buy monkeys, snakes, and goats, and once recalled a particular incident in which a young Paris left "the snake out the cage [...] at the Waldorf".[17] Hilton was raised in a very "sheltered, conservative" atmosphere; her parents were particularly strict and she was not allowed to date, wear make-up or certain types of clothes, or go to school dances. Her mother enrolled her in etiquette classes with the idea of involving her in the socialite scene, a world Hilton was at first reluctant to be a part of, as she did not find it to be "real" or "natural". She indeed described it as "very proper, very prim, almost like a Stepford wife".[17] The family's social circle included figures such as Lionel Richie, Donald Trump and Michael Jackson.[18][19]

Growing up in Los Angeles, Hilton attended the Buckley School and St. Paul the Apostle School, finishing elementary school in 1995.[20] Her freshman year of high school (1995–96) was spent at the Marywood-Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage, California. In 1996, Hilton and her family left California for the East Coast.[21] At age 15, she attended Professional Children's School.[19] She skated and played ice hockey while in high school.

Amid a rebellious youth, Hilton's parents sent her, then 16, to a series of boarding schools for emotionally troubled teens, the last of which was Provo Canyon School, where she says that she was mentally and physically abused by the staff. In her documentary This Is Paris, Hilton and other former students from Provo Canyon School recall the abuses they faced, including solitary confinement, forced medication, and being restrained, hit and strangled. She attended Provo for 11 months and was released in 1999 when she turned 18.[22][23][24][25] She then attended the Dwight School before dropping out a few months later. "She knew no one at [Dwight]", said her mother in an interview, while a classmate described her as "sort of more sophisticated. She was different from everybody else".[19] She later earned a GED certification.[26][27]


Social scene and modeling (1996–2002)

Hilton originally modeled as a child at charity events.[28] After relocating to NYC in 1996, she made a debut as a socialite and started frequenting nightclubs and high-profile events. As Hilton was underage at the time, she obtained a counterfeited identity document in order to gain access to events. She was seen at places such as The Plumm, Moomba, and the ballroom at the Waldorf. Her antics and late-night persona soon started attracting the spotlight from local tabloids. After becoming familiar with Paris and Nicky's social circle, Jason Binn, publisher of Hamptons magazine, said: "They're little stars. They've become names. To them it's like a job. I believe they wake up every morning and say, 'O.K., where am I supposed to be tonight?'."[29]

Hilton has recalled getting offers to show up in nightclubs for promotion as early as she was 16, which she saw as an initial route to earn income on her own.[30][31][32] This was, however, met with much disdain from Richard and Kathy Hilton, who sent her to a series of "emotional growth" schools until she turned 18. She resumed public appearances shortly after being released. A New Yorker profile, published in October 1999, states: "At sixteen and eighteen, Nicky and Paris Hilton are the littlest socialites in town. Thin, blond, and wellborn—their great-grandfather was Conrad Hilton—they moved from L.A. with their parents three years ago, and are now out and about with the city's most entitled teens. Like Eloise, whose story the two say they read "like, a hundred years ago," they live in a hotel, the Waldorf [...] Without even a smile, they can breeze past the velvet ropes at Moomba or get a seat at Le Bilboquet".[33]

Inspired by designers Patricia Field and Betsy Johnson, Hilton soon decided to pursue modeling, signing with Donald Trump's agency, T Management, at age 19.[28] Hilton modeled for Catherine Malandrino and Marc Bouwer, and posed alongside her sister Nicky for David LaChapelle[34] in a shoot that was featured in the September 2000 issue of Vanity Fair. On her persona, LaChapelle stated: "Paris had a charisma back then that you couldn't take your eyes off. She would giggle and laugh and be effervescent and take up a room".[35] By 2001, Hilton had become "one of the biggest stars, off and on the catwalk," at New York Fashion Week, graced an advertising campaign for Italian label Iceberg, and appeared on magazines such as Vogue and FHM.[36] In addition to modeling, Hilton ventured into screen acting, playing an ill-fated character in the independent teen thriller Sweetie Pie (2000),[19] and filming a cameo appearance as herself in the comedy Zoolander (2001), with Ben Stiller.

Some of Hilton's early public appearances include the Palms Casino Resort opening in Las Vegas in November 2001, for which businessman George J. Maloof Jr. flew Hilton in his private jet and paid her to wear a dress made from US$1 million in poker chips.[30][37][38][39][40] In 2002, she appeared in Vincent Gallo's "Honey Bunny" video,[41] played a "strung-out supermodel" in the 5-minute short QIK2JDG, and starred as a socialite in the straight-to-DVD horror film Nine Lives.

International stardom (2003–2007)

Hilton's breakout came in 2003, when she starred with her socialite counterpart Nicole Richie in the Fox reality series The Simple Life, in which they lived for a month with a family in the rural community of Altus, Arkansas. The series premiered on December 2, 2003, shortly after the release of Hilton's sex tape,[42] and was a ratings success; its first episode attracted 13 million viewers, increasing Fox's adult 18–49 rating by 79 percent.[43] The high viewership was attributed to the exposure Hilton received for the homemade tape.[44] She became known for her onscreen dumb blonde persona.[45][46]

In 2004, Hilton continued to venture into screen acting, taking on roles in the films The Hillz and Raising Helen, and guest-starring in episodes of Las Vegas, George Lopez, The O.C., and Veronica Mars. That year, she introduced a lifestyle brand, helping to design a purse collection for the Japanese label Samantha Thavasa. A jewelry line designed by Hilton was sold on shortly after.[47][48] In the fall of 2004, she released an autobiography co-written by Merle Ginsberg, Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose,[49] with color photos and advice on life as an heiress.[50] The book was seventh on The New York Times Best Seller list.[51] Hilton was involved in creating a perfume line by Parlux Fragrances. Originally planned for a small release, high demand led to increased availability by December 2004. Its introduction was followed by a 47-percent increase in Parlux sales, primarily of the Hilton-branded perfume.[52] After this success Parlux released several more perfumes with her name, including fragrances for men.[53]

Hilton at a 2005 conference in Munich

In February 2005, Hilton hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live, with Keane as the musical guest,[54] and in May, the slasher film House of Wax—her first major film role—[55][56] was released in theaters,[57] to mixed reviews.[58] Writing for View London, Matthew Turner remarked that Hilton "does better than you might expect",[59] while TV Guide called Hilton "talentless".[60] Her role earned her the Teen Choice Award for Best Scream and the 2005 Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress.[61] She also received a nomination for Best Frightened Performance at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards. House of Wax grossed over US$70 million worldwide.[62] Hilton appeared in a television commercial entitled "Paris Car Wash," promoting Carl's Jr.'s Spicy Burger product, which started airing in May 2005.[63] By the fall of 2005, she had published her second book, Your Heiress Diary: Confess It All to Me,[64] and introduced another fragrance, Just Me.

The Simple Life was canceled by Fox after three seasons in 2005 following a dispute between Hilton and Richie. Neither Richie nor Hilton spoke publicly about their split, although it was speculated that they fell out after Richie showed one of Hilton's homemade sex tapes to a group of their friends.[65] They reconciled in October 2006.[66] After The Simple Life was cancelled, other networks (NBC, The WB, VH1 and MTV) were interested in obtaining the rights for new seasons of the show.[67] On November 28, 2005, E! announced that it had picked up The Simple Life, ordering the production of a fourth season and obtaining the rights to repeat the first three seasons. Shooting for the new season began on February 27, 2006.[68] The fourth-season premiere of the show was a ratings success for its new network.[69]

Hilton released her self-titled debut album, Paris, on August 22, 2006. The album reached number six on the Billboard 200, and sold over 600,000 copies worldwide.[70] Its first single, "Stars Are Blind", was played on more than 125 pop stations in the U.S.[71] The song was a worldwide hit,[72] reaching the top ten in 17 countries.[73] Critical reception was generally mixed,[74] but AllMusic called the album "more fun than anything released by Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson".[75]

Her film Bottoms Up was released straight-to-DVD in late 2006. Australia's Urban Cinefile, describing Hilton, wrote that she "spends most of her screen time flicking her hair as she delivers lines like 'books are those things you read.'"[76] National Lampoon's Pledge This!, another film in which Hilton starred, was also released in DVD in 2006; she missed its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, protesting the addition of several nude scenes: "I was so angry I snubbed my own premiere."[77] In August 2008 Worldwide Entertainment Group sued Hilton in Miami District Court, alleging that she did not fulfill her contractual agreement to provide "reasonable promotion and publicity" for the film.[78] She received US$1 million for her role. Also in 2006, Hilton licensed her name to Gameloft for their mobile video game Paris Hilton's Diamond Quest.

On January 10, 2007, Hilton introduced her DreamCatchers line of hair extensions in partnership with Hair Tech International.[79] Due to her incarceration, The Simple Life finished its run at the end of its fifth season in July 2007. In early August, Hilton signed a licensing agreement with Antebi for a signature footwear line (Paris Hilton Footwear, featuring stilettos, platforms, flats, wedges and a sports collection) which reached stores in 2008.[80] In mid-August, she introduced a line of tops, dresses, coats and jeans at the Kitson Boutique in Los Angeles.[81] In December 2007, she posed nude (covered with gold paint) to promote "Rich Prosecco", a canned version of the Italian sparkling wine,[82][83] traveling to Germany to appear in print ads for the wine.[84] In 2007, Hilton also modeled for 2 B Free[85] and introduced her fourth perfume, Can Can.[86]

Screen projects and endorsements (2008–2011)

In February 2008, The Hottie and the Nottie, a romantic comedy in which Hilton starred, was released theatrically;[87] the film was a critical and commercial failure,[88] with Hilton eventually receiving the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress. Hilton's love for dogs led her to create a canine apparel line, Little Lily by Paris Hilton, in March 2008.[89] In April 2008, she appeared in the My Name Is Earl episode "I Won't Die with a Little Help from My Friends".[90]

At the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival a documentary about Hilton, Paris, Not France, was screened.[91] She starred in a MTV reality series, Paris Hilton's My New BFF, about her search for a new best friend,[92] which premiered shortly after, on September 30, 2008.[93] The series was a hit and topped all other cable shows in its time slot.[94] In October, she appeared in a second parody video on Funny or Die, Paris Hilton Gets Presidential with Martin Sheen, with Martin Sheen; Sheen's son, actor Charlie Sheen, made a cameo appearance.[95] Hilton, in a green evening dress and wearing heavy makeup, discusses political issues with Martin Sheen in his West Wing role.[96]

In her next film, the Gothic rock musical Repo! The Genetic Opera,[97] Hilton played Amber Sweet, the surgery and painkiller-addicted daughter of a biotech magnate. After screening at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con International, the film received a limited release.[98] said: "Not only is this by far Hilton's best role, she's actually got a grain of gravitas in the end".[99] However, Jam! Movies called her a "hopeless twit as an actress".[100] She was nominated for the 2009 Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress for the role.[101] Around that time, Hilton released her fifth fragrance for women, Fairy Dust.[102]

Hilton in 2009

As a result of the American version's success, on January 29, 2009 Paris Hilton's British Best Friend debuted on ITV2 in England.[103] The second season of Paris Hilton's My New BFF premiered on June 2, 2009. Hilton shot at the time Paris Hilton's Dubai BFF,[104] which was finally broadcast in 2011. In May 2009, Hilton won the Female Celebrity Fragrance of the Year Award at the 2009 Fifi Awards,[105][106] in July, her sixth fragrance for women, Siren, was introduced,[107] and in August, she appeared in the fifth episode of Supernatural's fifth season.[108][109] In October, she introduced a sunglasses line,[110] and in November, released a range of products that included shampoos, conditioners and hair vitamins.[111]

In February 2010, Hilton participated in an advertising campaign for the Brazilian beer Devassa Bem Loura, whose slogan roughly translates into English as "very blonde bitch".[112] As part of the campaign, she rode the brewery's float in the Rio Carnival.[113] On August 10, Hilton released her 10th fragrance, Tease, which was inspired by Marilyn Monroe.[114] On August 19, she launched a footwear line in Las Vegas.[115] The critically acclaimed documentary Teenage Paparazzo, in which Hilton appeared, aired on HBO on September 27.[116]

She had her first voice-over role in the ABC made-for-television film The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation.[117][118] The film aired on November 28, 2010[118] and received good ratings, with 2.611 million viewers.[119] In December 2010, Hilton launched her motorcycle team;[120][121] her Spanish driver, Maverick Viñales, won the final race and finished third overall in the 125cc world championship the following November.[122] She modeled for a second time at the 2011 Brazil Fashion Week (her first time was in early 2010). In February, Hilton introduced a fragrance line, the Passport Collection, with perfumes inspired by cities such as Paris, South Beach, Florida and Tokyo,[123] and also a mobile application which became available for iPhone and iPod touch.[124] The following month, she introduced a footwear collection in Mexico.[125][126][127]

On May 12, 2011, Hilton opened her third store in the Philippines, at the Abreeza Mall in Davao City.[128] On June 1, she returned to reality television in Oxygen's The World According to Paris.[129] The show, which followed her daily life,[130] was not a success,[131] which led to a belief that Hilton's popularity was fading.[132] The New York Times described her as an "attractive woman with proven talent for marketing and self-promotion, though as a reality heroine she seems a little passé [...] it's hard to see how she can recapture the kind of audience she enjoyed in her heyday—even by streaming her premiere live on Facebook".[133] She opened her fourth store in the Philippines on August 18, 2011.[134][135][136] In September, she introduced a footwear line in Istanbul,[137][138] and a Paris Hilton store opened in India.[139] Hilton modeled for designer Andre Tan during Ukraine Fashion Week in October 2011.

DJing, music and social media (2012–2019)

In February 2012, Hilton introduced a new line of sunglasses in Shanghai,[140] and in May, she released her fifteenth perfume, Dazzle.[141][142][143][144] In June, Hilton made her debut as a DJ at a Brazilian pop-music festival,[145] attracting negative responses from DJs Deadmau5,[146] Samantha Ronson[147] and Afrojack.[148]

In August 2012, Hilton's footwear line was nominated for the Best Celebrity Licensee of the Year award at the International Licensing Excellence Awards,[149] and the socialite appeared in a music video for Korean singer Kim Jang-hoon,[150] which was filmed on Malibu Beach. She was paid US$1 million for her appearance in the video,[151][152] which premiered in 3D in October 2012. In November, Hilton opened a store in Mecca; since it is considered the "holiest city in the Muslim world" and Saudi Arabia is a conservative country, controversy about her personal life swirled on Twitter.[153][154][155] In early December, she modeled for designers Shane and Falguni Peacock at India Fashion Week,[156][157][158] also appearing as a DJ.[159]

In January 2013, Hilton appeared in four episodes of the Danish version of Paradise Hotel, for which she was paid US$300,000.[160][161] In April, Hilton opened the 44th Paris Hilton store in Bogotá, Colombia.[162][163] In May, Hilton signed with Cash Money Records, appeared in the music video for Rich Gang's song "Tapout", alongside Lil Wayne, Christina Milian and Nicki Minaj,[164][165][166] and Sofia Coppola's film The Bling Ring—which featured her in a cameo and revolved around the infamous group of teenagers who had robbed her house, along with others—was released in theaters.[167] In addition to appearing in the film, she loaned Coppola her house for two weeks of shooting.[168][169] Recalling the house, Coppola said: "It was like we have to get this into the movie. It was so unique. It would be hard to recreate that. She is larger than life and her house is like Paris World."[170] During August 2013, Hilton was a DJ at Amnesia's weekly "Foam and Diamonds" parties on Ibiza.[171][172] The positive reaction from critics and audiences led to her contract's renewal for the subsequent four years.[173][174] In October, Hilton released the first single through Cash Money, "Good Time", featuring rapper Lil Wayne.[175] It debuted at number eighteen on the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Songs chart.[176] In November, Hilton won the Best Breakthrough DJ award at the NRJ DJ Awards.

In January 2014, Hilton became a resident DJ at Harrah's Atlantic City's "The Pool After Dark".[177][178] In March, she unveiled her first real estate project, the Paris Beach Club, in collaboration with Century Properties Group, Inc., at the Azure Urban Resort Residences in Parañaque, the Philippines.[179] In July, her next single, "Come Alive", was released,[180] and she made a cameo appearance in another Carl's Jr. commercial, paying homage to the one in which she starred in 2005.[181] To further her career as a DJ, Hilton embarked on a summer and fall tour consisting of 13 shows in Spain, France, Portugal, South Korea, Colombia and New Jersey.[182] In November, she won as Best Female DJ at the NJR DJ Awards,[183] and in December, she worked as a DJ at W Hotel's annual Art Basel parties in Miami (she has performed there from that year onward).[184] By the end of 2014, Hilton was the highest-paid female DJ.[185]

Hilton at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival

In March 2015, Hilton released her 19th fragrance, a limited edition of her second fragrance, Heiress,[34] and Animoca Brands, a mobile game developer from Hong Kong, announced that they had secured a license from Hilton to use her name and likeness to produce mobile games and themes.[186] In May, her third single under Cash Money, "High Off My Love", was released. It eventually peaked at number three on the Billboard US Dance Club Songs chart. In June, she performed at Summerfest, in Milwaukee, in front of 50,000 concert-goers.[187] An online campaign to get her thrown off the bill achieved over 7,000 votes.[188] In 2016, Hilton teamed up with Lidl for a hair care collection,[189] and released her 20th fragrance, Gold Rush, followed by its male counterpart, Gold Rush for Men;[190] she subsequently released Rosé Rush, in 2017,[191] and Platinum Rush, in 2018.[192]

In February 2017, Hilton walked the runway at Christian Cowan's fall show in New York City.[193] For April Fools' Day, she starred in a SodaStream's viral campaign, promoting NanoDrop, a fictitious sparkling-water product.[194] She appeared in the video for the Demi Lovato song "Sorry Not Sorry", which premiered in July 2017.[195] In September 2017, she modeled at the Philipp Plein show during Milan Fashion Week.[196] A video for "I Don't Want It at All", the debut single of Kim Petras, was released in October featuring Hilton in a cameo.[197] In 2017, she also launched footwear and home decor lines in Mexico City.[198][199]

In January 2018, Hilton modeled Kanye West's Yeezy Season 6 collection by recreating paparazzi photos of Kim Kardashian.[200] She released "I Need You" as a digital download on February 14, 2018 (Valentine's Day).[201][202] It debuted at number 48 and peaked at number 32 on the Dance Club Songs Billboard chart.[203][204] In June, Hilton was a model on Philipp Plein's Plein Sport fashion show in Milan,[205] and launched both her 70-piece collection with,[206][207] and her skincare line.[208][209] In September, Hilton channeled Cruella de Vil for The Blonds show and modeled for Namalia during New York Fashion Week;[210][211] in October, she partnered with Nail and Bone to create five nail polishes named after her dogs;[212] and in November, she presented a clothing collection in Mexico.[213]

In 2018, Hilton was what was described as "the centerpiece" of two projects about social media and various personalities' online presence.[214][215] The documentary The American Meme premiered on Netflix in December 2018, after screening at the Tribeca Film Festival.[216][217] It was written and directed by Bert Marcus, and she was one of the executive producers. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 93 rating based on 28 reviews,[218] with Hilton receiving acclaim for showing her vulnerability and giving audiences a glimpse into the dark side of fame.[219] Decider reports, "In a series of quiet, reflective interviews, [she] explains why she trusts her fans more than her friends and dissects the risqué David LaChappelle photoshoot that transformed her into a household name."[220] She also hosted Hollywood Love Story, a six-episode series that aired on Viceland.

In February 2019, Hilton modeled again for The Blonds at NYFW,[222] while Philipp Plein's Plein Sport campaign —in which she appeared— was officially launched.[223] In March, she walked the runway for Christian Cowan's Powerpuff Girls fashion show at Los Angeles, and in April, she was a special guest in the twelfth episode of Germany's Next Topmodel's 14th cycle. "B.F.A. (Best Friend's Ass)", her song with Belgian production duo Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, was released on May 10, 2019.[224] Kim Kardashian and other social media personalities appeared in the music video.[225] The song peaked at number 45 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Songs chart, and at number 25 on Belgium's Ultratop chat.[226] On May 30, Hilton was announced as a partner and investor of demand beauty platform The Glam App.[227] On July 19, she released "Lone Wolves", a song with vocalist MATTN,[228] which peaked at 59 on Ultratop. Two days later, she performed as a DJ in Tomorrowland. Electrify —her 25th fragrance— came out in September.[229]

This Is Paris (2020–present)

Hilton was a guest judge for the premiere episode of James Charles's YouTube series Instant Influencer, which was released on April 24, 2020.[230] Filmmaker Ramez Silyan's narrative short film Sorry, which Hilton produced and appeared in, was released in May 2020. Filmed in 2018, she first read the script with then-fiancé Chris Zylka and decided to appear and help finance the project.[231] On May 6, she presented a merchandise collection, which includes T-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirt featuring one of her trademark catchphrases; "sliving", "loves it", and "that's hot".[232]

This Is Paris (2020), a YouTube Originals documentary directed by Alexandra Dean, focuses on her personal and professional trajectory.[233][234] In the film, Hilton revealed her experiences with emotional, verbal and physical abuse while attending a series of boarding schools as a teenager. Despite not being prepared to disclose that information, she trusted Dean's approach and found the process of filming to be a healing space for her. She did not serve as a producer on the film, which she admitted that it was a big risk, since she always had “complete creative control” of her business ventures.[235] It garnered over 16 million views in its first month of release and was deemed a successful "rebranding" of her image.[236][237]

In October 2020, Hilton was among the personalities who made cameo appearances modeling lingerie at Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2,[238] appeared in the ad campaign for a new collection of clothing from Kim Kardashian's brand Skims,[239] and released a single with Lodato called "I Blame You".[240] She, along with her sister and mother, posed for a Valentino photoshoot in December 2020, highlighting the label's Roman Stud handbag and resort 2021 collection.[241]

Her podcast This Is Paris debuted on February 22, 2021, in partnership with iHeartMedia, offering a blend of personal content and conversations with her family, friends and other celebrities. According to The New York Times, it is "the flagship of a planned slate of seven shows to be produced by Hilton's company, London Audio, and the iHeartPodcast Network. The other programs, featuring different hosts, will be released over the next three years".[242] In March, Hilton created Slivington Manor Entertainment, with an overall deal at Warner Bros. Unscripted Television,[243] and became the face for Lanvin's spring-summer 2021 campaign.[244] In April, Hilton launched a NFT collection in collaboration with designer Blake Kathryn. The set, which is called Planet Paris, featured three pieces and raked in US$1.5 million.[245]

Public image


A particularly polarizing figure since rising to fame, Hilton has often been the subject of harsh criticism. In a 2006 article for City Journal, Kay S. Hymowitz described Americans as having "less of a common culture, but we all still share Paris Hilton," further stating that even "if you don't read the tabloids, you can't escape her [...] for most sentient adults Hilton personifies the decadence of our cultural moment."[246] A 2006 poll conducted by the Associated Press and AOL concluded she was the second-Worst Celebrity Role Model, behind Britney Spears.[247] According to a June 2007 Gallup poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) felt very unsympathetic toward Hilton while only 10% felt any measure of sympathy for the hotel heiress,[248] and a November 2007 online survey of children conducted by E-Poll Market Research ranked her among the most unfriendly celebrities among children.[249] A 2011 Ipsos poll concluded that she was the most unpopular celebrity with Americans (with 60 percent of respondents viewing her unfavorably).[250][251]

In 2004, Hilton was named one of the "10 Most Fascinating People", according to Barbara Walters' annual primetime special ("Paris' Most Shocking Moments").[252] Forbes included her in its Celebrity 100, which ranks the highest-paid celebrities, in 2004, 2005 and 2006. She was among Google's Top Searches in 2004 and 2006. She ranked 59th, 23rd, 34th and 35th in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women poll in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2012, respectively,[253][254][255] and was 20th and 38th on Maxim magazine's Hot 100 list in 2005 and 2006.[256][257] The 2007 Guinness World Records named her the world's Most Overrated Celebrity,[258][259] and Forbes ranked her as the Most Over-Exposed Celebrity in 2008. According to the latter, a survey conducted by E-Poll Market Research, found that "65% of the U.S. population would use the term 'overexposed' to describe Hilton [...] To put that in perspective, most celebrities average between 3% and 7% on the E-Poll celebrity index during the peak of their careers".[260] She had previously topped the list in 2006,[261][262] and also ranked second, fifth and eight in 2007, 2012 and 2014 respectively.[263][264] In 2011, she was among the "100 Hottest Women of All Time" by Men's Health.[265] In 2021, she ranked seventh in Fortune magazine's list of the 50 most influential people in the NFT industry.[266]


Hilton at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival

The unusual nature and extent of her fame is often questioned by critics, as she is not considered an entertainer nor performer. Blair Soden of ABC News noted: "She's made a lot of money with a hodgepodge of traditional celebrity revenue. But what she's best at is being Paris Hilton".[267] Writers indeed suggest that Hilton epitomizes the celebutante: a celebrity for no particularly identifiable reason other than inherited wealth and lavish lifestyle. Cait Munro of Refinery29 asserted: "Paris Hilton is an icon not just of the 2000s, but of a certain widely held image of what inherited wealth, undeserved fame, and American excess looks like".[268]

Much of her image has centered on her "party girl-heiress archetype" as well as her blonde hair and the stereotypes associated with it, especially stupidity, naïveté, sexual availability and artificiality.[269] The development of that character stemmed from the initial success of The Simple Life and her desire to embody "the ultimate brand based on [...] the right everything for a formula that far exceeded anybody else at that time", according to Jason Moore, her former manager.[270] He stated: "She was the ultimate package that corporate America would want to make for itself as a marketing tool, but it was already made for them. They say to be a famous person, people want to be you or [sleep with you], and she encompassed both of those".[270]

Fashion and language are two contributing factors to Hilton's star image. Known for her long bleached blonde hair, valley girl accent, and use of blue coloured contact lenses over her naturally brown eyes, she developed her personal aesthetic through mainly pink attire, Juicy Couture tracksuits, rhinestones, trucker hats, oversized sunglasses, and the "accessory dog". She mimed "high-fashion poses learned from drag queens" and created what was described as the "Paris talk". For instance, she often uses one-liners and a breathy, childish voice in television shows and interviews.[271][272][273]

"Throughout the noughties, Paris became a queen for girls who were as unapologetically privileged and as spoilt as her; girls who shared the belief that everyone should “stop being jealous”. Girls who centred their carefree lives around shopping, sunbathing and partying with their miniscule accessory-dogs. For everyone else, she was a bit of an eejit. To this day Paris Hilton continues to represent the epitome of naff; she's still striking the same poses, wearing the same glitzy gowns, faffing over her dogs as ferociously as ever [...]"[274]

—Geraldine Carton of Image (magazine) in 2018

Her dim-witted blonde persona, despite being a carefully crafted act, has found significant credence among the general public, which she has described as being an obstacle in her career. She once remarked: "People assume before they meet me that I'm a really ditzy dumb blonde. That's the one thing that kind of annoys me sometimes. They just think because of the reality show that's who I really am. But that was just a character that I created. I didn't realize what a huge success [it would be...] With everything that's happening, though, with my business, I think people can understand that you couldn't possibly get this far being a dumb blonde".[275]


"That's hot", "loves it" and "sliving" are Hilton's catchphrases.[276] All three are registered as trademarks for products, like clothing apparel, electronic devices, and alcoholic beverages.[276]

On September 6, 2007, Hilton filed an injunction lawsuit against Hallmark Cards Inc., titled Hilton v. Hallmark Cards, in U.S. District Court over the unlawful use of her picture and catchphrase "That's hot" on a greeting card. The card is titled "Paris's First Day as a Waitress" with a photograph of Hilton's face on a cartoon of a waitress serving a plate of food, with a dialogue bubble saying "Don't touch that, it's hot" (which had a registered trademark on February 13, 2007). Hilton's attorney Brent Blakely said that the infringement damages would be based on profits from the greeting cards. Julie O'Dell said that Hallmark used the card as parody, protected under fair use law.[277] The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reviewed the case and "denied Hallmark's motion to dismiss". Hilton and Hallmark Cards Inc. later settled out of court.[278]

Media presence

A subject of press and tabloid attention due to her extravagant Hollywood lifestyle, Hilton's media exploits started in the late 1990s, when she became a notable fixture in NYC's late-night circuit.[34] Publications such as Hamptons, The New Yorker and The New York Post initially featured her in their columns. According to Vice, Page Six went from writing about her nine times between 1999 and 2000 to publishing 17 stories about her in 2001.[34] "The most outrageous [New York City-based heiress] is hotel-darling Paris Hilton, 19, a part-time model with a tendency to flash her thong", Michelle Gotthelf wrote in the Post on October 15, 2000.[34] The September 2000 article and pictorial by David LaChapelle for Vanity Fair "announced [Hilton's] arrival" to the mass public, as per Los Angeles Times. By 2001, she was hailed as "New York's leading It Girl", whose fame was beginning to "extend beyond the New York tabloids".[28]

The scandal involving her sex tape in 2003 catapulted her into global fame and made her an overnight subject of media frenzy, paparazzi attention and public scrutiny. The NY Post, for instance, went on to write more than 90 articles about Hilton that year alone. The public's sudden and unusual interest on her life led Entertainment Weekly to write that, "[w]e in the media have become Paris-ites".[279] In an effort to “rehabilite her public image” and “capitalise” on the increased curiosity following the release of her sex tape, she heavily promoted herself through different forms of mass media such as advertising, publishing and broadcasting.[270] The 2000s are widely agreed to be her heyday,[280][281][282][283][284] a period in which her presence was, as CNN once noted, "impossible to escape" and a "staple of the daily news cycles". Throughout the decade, Hilton's media ubiquity fed the then-booming online gossip industry, and cemented her "It Girl" status.[285]

The "intrusive" presence of paparazzi helped the emerging network of blogs and magazines, such as TMZ, US Weekly and, to extensively document Hilton’s exploits. Aware that "anything [she] did was going to be talked about the next day", she would particularly plan public occurrences, described as "pseudo-events", usually for the purpose of being photographed and reported on. This proved to be a symbiotic strategy, from which both Hilton and the press benefited. Sheeraz Hasan, the founder of Hollywood.TV, stated: "I built the foundation of one of the biggest paparazzi companies in the world on the back of Paris Hilton. I had over 100 guys in Los Angeles [...] all of them making a living off" Hilton.[286] TMZ has been criticized for having a personality cult of figures such as Hilton,[287] but Harvey Levin, the managing editor of TMZ, attributed their coverage on Paris to her "relevancy" and how it helped draw a high viewership to the website.[287] Perez Hilton purports to have befriended Hilton, who became the source of his stage name and frequent subject of his posts. It has been noted, for example, that he rarely reports on stories or rumors casting her in a negative or unflattering light,[288] and that, unlike most gossip blogs, he often acknowledges and praises her positive achievements.[289]

A Minnesota billboard informing about Hilton's prison time in June 2007

The media's over-saturation on Hilton had reached a peak in 2007 amid her much-publicized legal problems at the time.[290] She became the fifth most heavily covered story of the week of June 4.[291] According to Pew Research Center, roughly a third of Americans (34%) followed news about Hilton very or fairly closely, with public interest in her surpassing that in the 2008 presidential campaign, The G8 summit, and talks between George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin.[291] The Associated Press attempted to not mention her for a week in February 2007;[292] a similar attempt was previously made by Lloyd Grove, who banned her from his New York Daily News gossip column in 2004. In June 2007, Us Weekly published its first "100% Paris-Free" issue,[293] and near the beginning of a Morning Joe episode, Mika Brzezinski refused to read a report about Hilton's release from jail.[294] The New York Times "reluctantly" covered her post-release Larry King Live interview as a "major television event".[295]

Press attention endured in the late 2000s despite the institution of a Paris Hilton reporting ban. A television campaign ad by the 2008 John McCain presidential campaign,[296][297] in which McCain compared Barack Obama to celebrities such as Hilton and Britney Spears,[296][298][299] prompted a direct response from Hilton through a Funny or Die video entitled Paris Hilton Responds to McCain Ad,[300] which was viewed by more than seven million people in two days and received worldwide press coverage as well as written and verbal responses from both campaigns.[301] By the end of 2009, a quiet relationship between Hilton and the tabloids had been observed and led CNN to write a story asking, "Why has Paris Hilton disappeared?", in which her apparent absence from news circles was attributed to an over-saturated public and a new collective interest on other celebrities.[270]

Hilton's relationship with the press and the paparazzi has been described as "ambivalent".[302] On different occasions, she has complained about the way she has been treated by the media, particularly about their narrative on her and constant presence in her proximity, whereas at other times she has sought their attention and hand information to reporters herself.[251] In 2011, she was named a "Billion Dollar Entrepreneur" by Variety magazine.[303][304] In recent years, Hilton has grown an online and social media presence and, as of 2021, reaches over 60 million users across all of her social platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, Weibo and YouTube. In 2020, there were over 257.8 million views on videos mentioning Paris Hilton on social media and her catchphrase "That's Hot" resulted in more than 4.8 billion impressions on TikTok.[305]

Hilton has graced the covers of numerous international fashion magazines, including US' Ocean Drive,[306] FHM,[307][308] Maxim,[309] Elle,[310] Nylon,[311] Variety,[312] and Paper;[313] UK's Elle,[314] Es Magazine[315] and Gay Times;[316] France and Turkey's Vogue;[317][318] Spain's Vanity Fair;[319] and New Zealand's Remix.[320]

In popular culture

Hilton has had two popular television characters loosely based on her real-life persona: London Tipton from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody (2005–2008) and Caroline Channing in 2 Broke Girls (2011–2017). The World of Warcraft massively multiplayer online role-playing game has featured a character named Haris Pilton, labeled a "socialite", since the release of The Burning Crusade expansion on January 15, 2007. The character remains in the game as of April 2017.[321] She is the source for the name of the blog, which posts gossip items about celebrities.[322]

Mark D's painting Paris Hilton: Panties Please Paris

Hilton has been parodied in the music videos for Pink's "Stupid Girls" (2006),[323] and Falling in Reverse's "I'm Not a Vampire" (2011), the South Park episode "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset" (2004),[324] The Simpsons episode "Homerazzi" (2007), and the Hollywood films White Chicks (2004),[325] Date Movie (2006),[326] Epic Movie (2007),[327] and Meet the Spartans (2008).[328] In 2005, her wax figure by Madame Tussauds was unveiled to coincide with the release of House of Wax.[329] In 2006, she became a target of the street artist Banksy, when 500 copies of her album in 48 record shops across the United Kingdom were replaced with his own alternative version. His rework of the album featured remixes produced by himself and Danger Mouse. The track list contained satire song titles such as "Why Am I Famous?", "What Have I Done?" and "What Am I For?". He also changed the cover sleeve and booklet to display pictures of the singer topless.[330][331]

On screen, Hilton has been dramatised in the television film Paparazzi Princess: The Paris Hilton Story (2008),[333] by Amber Hay, who had spoofed Hilton in a viral 2007 YouTube video titled "Paris in Jail",[334] and in the Lifetime biographical drama Britney Ever After (2017), by Jillian Walchuck. In the second, ninth and thirteenth seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race, she has been portrayed by Raven, Trinity Taylor and Gottmik respectively. Comedians Breven Angaelica Warren (E! mock television series) and Maya Rudolph (SNL), and television personalities Tyra Banks (The Tyra Banks Show) and Matt Lauer (The Today Show) are among the figures who have also spoofed Hilton's public persona.[335][336]

In 2017, Hilton was one of the subjects of an art exhibit called "Nicole Richie's 2007 Memorial Day BBQ", which was unveiled at Brooklyn's THNK 1994 Museum.[337][338] In The Good Place episode "The Brainy Bunch" (2018), an American-themed restaurant includes a wall art featuring an alternative Mount Rushmore formed by Hilton, David Hasselhoff, Judge Judy, and Hulk Hogan.[339] She has also been a subject of print biographies, documentaries, feature films, television specials and other media depictions.[340][341]

Cultural impact

In a 2011 article, CNN alluded that Hilton had transformed fame "more than any other modern-day star",[270] in reference to her influence on the revival of the famous for being famous phenomenon, and leadership in the insurgency of a new type of celebrity, whose private life became an unprecedented focus of public interest.[6] By molding what academic Daniel J. Boorstin called "an image", which "is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture", but "a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service", she has been credited with shaping the professional foundation for this kind of celebrity, which intensified with the posterior growth of social media.[342][343]

In 2020, Los Angeles Times regarded Hilton as "the woman who will likely go down in history for putting the 'i' in influencer".[344] GQ had previously called her "the figure who set off Hollywood 2.0's Big Bang, the effects of which continue to radiate through the industry today. Hilton, the one who made it possible to be famous for doing nothing, was so sought-after in the [...] 2000s that you couldn't get her to walk to her mailbox without giving her a check".[345] Bert Marcus, the director of the documentary The American Meme (2018), echoed that sentiment, remarking that she "paved the way for creating a brand and a celebrity out of being herself and she turned it into a phenomenon," while Instagram celebrity and entrepreneur The Fat Jew, who was one of the subjects in the aforementioned documentary, credited her for "inventing the way the world thinks about influence".[346] Galore magazine named her "the Original Reality TV Business Queen" and featured her in its Art Issue 2017.[347]

Indeed, her fame made her a leading figure in the early 2000s popularization of reality television into mainstream pop culture.[348] Vice, in a 2015 profile, noted that after The Simple Life premiered in 2003, "cable channels began programming reality television shows. MTV's second golden age consisted of The Hills; Andy Cohen reinvented Bravo with a repertoire of The Real Housewives, and TLC started teaching Americans about Dance Moms and Honey Boo Boo".[34]

Dazed once considered that every "[reality] star who cashes in after the series by collaborating with brands is essentially selling a sort of post-Hilton aspirational glamour".[349] The Kardashian family, Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt, Tila Tequila, Danielle Staub, Alexa Chung, Brittny Gastineau, and Snooki are some of the personalities who are said to have followed in her footsteps.[350][351][352] Kim Kardashian acknowledged Hilton for "giving" her a career,[353] while Tana Mongeau stated that the media personality "paved the way for me. A girl like me who is literally famous for nothing —Paris Hilton taught us how to make that a business, you know what I mean".[354]

Hilton at an event for Harper's Bazaar in 2019

Despite the public's overall negative perception on her, Hilton is considered an American pop culture icon.[355] The height of her fame coincided with and contributed to the growth of what The New York Times described as a "misogynist" and intrusive celebrity culture, dominated by tabloids and paparazzi.[356]

The clothing style that defined her image in her heyday —Juicy Couture tracksuits, rhinestones, Von Dutch trucker hats and even "the accessory dog"— have become popular fashion trends.[357] The Julien Macdonald dress Hilton wore for her 21st birthday has been recreated numerous times[358][359] and she was part of the revival of Juicy Couture in 2017,[360] even attending their Spring/Summer 2018 presentation at New York Fashion Week.[361] People magazine wrote in a March 2017 article: "For millennials, Paris Hilton has always been and will always be a living legend. The socialite has come to perfectly define not only the millennial fashion aesthetic, but also a bygone era of celebrity where social media was nonexistent, as were stylists, and getting papped while partying was simply de rigueur" (to get "papped" is to be followed and photographed by paparazzi).[362][363]

Hilton has been discussed by journalists and scholars interested in the role of celebrities and their influence through the media.[252] Feminist theorist Camille Paglia described her as a "groundbreaking" figure in Hollywood, while in her book The Bling Ring, an account on the group of thieves who robbed Hilton's house, Nancy Jo Sales positioned her as a "celebrity symbol of how destructive individualism ruled the 2000s".[34]

On August 29, 2006, the mayor of Las Vegas proclaimed the day "Paris Hilton Day" and gave Hilton a key to the city.[364] Her quote, "Dress cute wherever you go; life is too short to blend in", was added to The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations in September 2009.[365]

Personal life

Hilton with her mother Kathy Hilton and aunt Kyle Richards at a NBC event in February 2011

Hilton lives in Mulholland Estates,[366] a gated community in Los Angeles, California.[367] She also owns a penthouse in Lower Manhattan, NYC.[368]

Hilton is known for her love of small dogs, and has had a female Chihuahua named Tinkerbell among many other pets. Hilton was frequently seen carrying Tinkerbell (dubbed an "accessory dog") at social events and functions, and in all five seasons of television reality show The Simple Life.[369][370] In April 2015, it was reported that Tinkerbell had died at the age of 14.[371] Hilton had a 300-square-foot home with air conditioning, heating, and designer furniture built for her pets at an estimated cost of US$325,000.[372][373]

On January 22, 2007, her private life became public on, a website with images of personal documents, video and other material allegedly obtained when the contents of a storage locker rented by Hilton were auctioned in lieu of a US$208 payment. The website, which charged for online access to the material, had 1.2 million visitors in just over 40 hours.[374] Among its contents were medications, diaries, photographs, contracts, love letters and a video shot by Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild.[375] Hilton obtained a temporary injunction against which shut down the website.[376]

Between 2008 and 2009, Hilton's home was burgled several times by the Bling Ring, a group of fashion-motivated thieves. It was not until nearly US$2 million were stolen in jewelry, clothing, cash, and other items from Hilton that she reported having been burgled.[377]

On September 20, 2012, an audio recording of Hilton making homophobic comments was posted on the Internet.[378][379] That day, following the backlash caused, she issued an apology through GLAAD in which she said she was a "huge supporter of the gay community" and called gay people "the strongest and most inspiring people I know".[380][381] As a result of her remarks, Logo TV canceled plans to air a documentary about her (Paris Hilton Inc).[382][383][384]

In August 2017, Hilton received scrutiny for comments she made during a previous interview on the women who accused then-U.S. President-elect Donald Trump of sexual harassment and sexual assault, seemingly accusing them of trying to get attention.[385][386] Hilton later clarified: "I want to apologize for my comments from an interview I did last year [...] They were part of a much larger story and I am regretful that they were not delivered in the way I had intended. I was speaking about my own experiences in life and the role of media and fame in our society and it was never my intention for my comments to be misapplied almost a year later".[387]


Hilton's extensive list of relationships and romantic associations with other high-profile figures has drawn a large amount of media attention and public disapproval.[388] In 2000, for instance, the then-19-year-old drew attention from tabloids when she and Leonardo DiCaprio were seen together on the NYC late-night circuit. That led to one of her first magazine profiles, with Vanity Fair, in which she denied that they were involved.[389] She dated actor Edward Furlong in 2000, and poker player Rick Salomon, with whom she filmed her sex tape, in 2001.[390] She was engaged to fashion model Jason Shaw from 2002 to 2003.[391] They have reportedly remained friends since their split. She had a seven-month relationship with singer Nick Carter in 2004;[392] Carter opened up about their relationship in his 2013 autobiography. "Paris was the worst person in the world for me to hook up with," he wrote. "[She] fed my worst impulses as far as partying."[390]

Hilton started dating Greek shipping heir Paris Latsis in December 2004,[393] and they became engaged seven months later.[390] In November 2005, however, they called the impending nuptials off.[390] She next had a relationship with another Greek heir, Stavros Niarchos, whom she dated on and off between December 2005 and March 2007.[390] Hilton dated Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden from February until November 2008.[394][395][396][397] An on and off relationship with The Hills star Doug Reinhardt followed,[398] but they broke up definitely in April 2010, when she became concerned that he was using her to further his career.[399] She would next have a one-year relationship with Las Vegas nightclub owner Cy Waits.[400] She dated Spanish model River Viiperi between 2012 and 2014,[401] and businessman Thomas Gross between 2015 and 2016.[402] Actor Chris Zylka proposed to her in January 2018, during a vacation in Aspen, after one year of dating.[403][404] They called off their engagement in November 2018.[405]

In December 2019, Hilton started a relationship with businessman Carter Reum.[406] On February 13, 2021, Hilton and Reum were engaged.[407]

Sex tape

In 2003, a sex tape featuring Hilton and then-boyfriend Rick Salomon was leaked onto the Internet shortly after the debut of her mainstream TV series The Simple Life. Salomon filed a lawsuit against the company that distributed the tape, and against the Hilton family, whom he accused of tarnishing his reputation by suggesting that he had exploited Hilton.[408] Hilton later sued the company that released the tape, Kahatani Ltd., for $30 million for violation of privacy and emotional distress.[409]

Under the title 1 Night in Paris, Salomon began distributing the tape himself in April 2004 through the adult film company Red Light District Video.[410] In July 2004, Salomon dropped his lawsuit against the Hilton family after Paris Hilton's privacy lawsuit was thrown out of court. Salomon and Red Light District Video agreed to pay Hilton US$400,000 plus a percentage of the tape's sale profit.[411] However, in 2013, Hilton made a claim that she never made money off her sex tape:"[I] never made a dollar. I make enough money in nice ways. My fragrance [line] makes enough, I don't need to worry about that."[412]

Stalking incidents

In August 2010, Nathan Lee Parada was arrested after security men spotted him wielding two knives outside Hilton's house.[413] He was found guilty on one felony count of attempted first-degree residential burglary and was sentenced to two years in state prison.[414]

In October 2010, James Rainford bicycled past guards at the entrance to her gated community, went to her house, and began pounding on her door. He was arrested and earned three years' probation, along with a restraining order from Hilton. In April 2011, Rainford was arrested a second time for attacking her boyfriend Cy Waits outside Van Nuys Superior Court, where Hilton was headed to testify against Nathan Lee Parada, and he was arrested again in July outside her Malibu, California beach house.[415][416] He was charged with two felony stalking counts and three misdemeanor counts of disobeying a court order,[417] but a judge found him to be "mentally incompetent to stand trial" and he was sent to a state mental hospital.

In 2014, an "obsessed fan" flew a plane over Malibu with two banners, one of which read, "Can't Get Paris Whitney Hilton Out of My Mind." The other read, "Mr. & Mrs. Hilton, may I court your daughter Paris?" In 2015, the same person reportedly posed as a flower deliveryman to gain access to her gated community, where he left her a classic Cadillac.[418]

In October 2014, Lukas Redanz was completely covered with tattoos of Hilton, and he appeared to be "extremely drunk" when he went to her gated community to see her. Guards called the police and the man was arrested for possession of cocaine.[419] In December 2014, Hilton filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department after being the subject of anti-Semitic attacks on social media by a man who believed that she was Jewish; he threatened to rape and kill her.[420][421][422]

Between 2015 and 2017, Hilton was the target of an identity theft scheme by Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan, a woman who used Hilton's credit cards to book a party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel worth around $53,000. She also pretended to be Hilton in emails to her employees, convincing them to transfer $106,000 to her account, and hacked her sister Nicky and father Rick Hilton in an attempt to gain passwords to various other accounts. She also stole nude photos of Hilton from her iCloud account.[423] Bkhchadzhyan was arrested in 2017 for bank fraud conspiracy, and was later sentenced to 57 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution.[424]

Legal issues

On September 7, 2006, Hilton was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, with a blood alcohol content of 0.08%.[425][426][427] In November 2006, Hilton's driver's license was suspended, and on January 22, 2007, she pleaded no contest to a reckless driving charge.[428] Her sentence was 36 months' probation and fines totaling about US$1,500.[429] On February 27, 2007, she was stopped for driving with a suspended license, and she signed an agreement that she was not permitted to drive.[430][431] The next month, she was caught driving 70 mph in a 35-mph zone without headlights at night with a suspended license. Prosecutors in the office of the Los Angeles City Attorney charged that these infractions and her failure to enroll in a court-ordered alcohol-education program violated her probation.[432] On May 4, 2007, Hilton was sentenced by Judge Michael T. Sauer to 45 days in jail for the probation violation.[433][434] She planned to appeal the sentence, supporting an online petition (created on May 5 by Joshua Morales) asking California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for a pardon.[435][436] Hilton changed lawyers and dropped her plans to appeal.[437]

Hilton in her 2007 mug shot

Hilton was required to begin her jail term on June 5, 2007,[438] and entered the Century Regional Detention Facility (a women's prison in Lynwood, California) after attending the 2007 MTV Movie Awards on June 3, 2007. On June 7, 2007, Los Angeles County Sheriff, Lee Baca signed an order resentencing Hilton to 40 days of home confinement with an electronic monitoring device due to an unspecified medical condition.[439] Baca said, "My message to those who don't like celebrities is that punishing celebrities more than the average American is not justice."[440] He added, "The special treatment, in a sense, appears to be because of her celebrity status ... She got more time in jail."[441] Judge Michael Sauer summoned her to reappear in court the following morning (June 8), since her original sentence specified imprisonment: "No work furlough. No work release. No electronic monitoring."[442] At the hearing, Sauer declined a briefing in chambers by Hilton's attorney on her medical condition and sent her back to jail to serve the original 45-day sentence. When she heard the decision, Hilton shouted "It's not right!" Screaming, she asked to hug her mother.[443][444] Hilton was moved to the medical wing of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles, and returned to the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood on June 13.[445] Paris Hilton was released from jail on Tuesday, June 26, 2007.[citation needed]

The socialite was influenced by minister Marty Angelo in jail, referring to a "new beginning" in an interview with talk-show host Larry King on June 28, 2007 (two days after her release) and quoting from Angelo's autobiography (Once Life Matters: A New Beginning). On June 9, Angelo unsuccessfully petitioned Sauer to let him serve the remainder of Hilton's sentence if the judge would release her to an alternative treatment program.[448] Hilton told King during the interview that she had taken Adderall for ADHD since childhood.

On July 2, 2010, Hilton was accused of smoking marijuana at the 2010 FIFA World Cup game between Brazil and the Netherlands. Although she was escorted from the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium by local police, the case was later dismissed. Her publicist, Dawn Miller, said: "I can confirm that the incident was a complete misunderstanding and it was actually another person in the group who did it".[450][451] Two weeks later, Hilton was detained and released after she was caught with cannabis at Corsica's Figari Sud-Corse Airport.

On August 27, 2010, Hilton was arrested by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on suspicion of cocaine possession in Las Vegas and her boyfriend, Cy Waits, was charged with driving under the influence. Hilton and Waits were booked into the Clark County jail, where Hilton was kept handcuffed on a booking room bench, fingerprinted, photographed and released without bail.[453][454][455] Hilton's defense initially claimed that the handbag (containing 0.8g of cocaine) was not hers: "This purse in question was a high street brand – and by no means up to her high fashion standards."[citation needed] (A "high street brand" is an ordinary item that can be bought in an ordinary store, rather than being made by top fashion designers.)[456]

She later claimed personal items (including cash and credit cards) from the bag, acknowledging that it was hers. To avoid a felony conviction, Hilton pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors on September 17, 2010. Under the terms of the plea bargain she was sentenced to one year of probation, 200 hours of community service, a US$2,000 fine and the completion of a drug-abuse treatment program on September 20.[457] Clark County District Attorney David Roger said, "If she was arrested for anything besides a minor traffic violation she will spend a year in jail. There will be no discussion. The court will have no discretion."[457]

On September 21, 2010, on their way to a Tokyo press conference to promote fashion and fragrance lines, Hilton and her sister Nicky were stopped by immigration officers at Narita Airport because of Hilton's drug-possession conviction the previous day. Under Japan's strict drug laws, travelers convicted of a drug crime are usually denied entry into the country.[458][459] Airport officials questioned Hilton "for hours", and she and Nicky were detained overnight at the airport hotel.[458] On September 22, Japanese authorities denied Hilton entry, and she was put on a plane back to the United States. Other stops on their Asian promotional tour were canceled due to Indonesia and Malaysia's anti-drug laws.[459]


As a socialite, Hilton has been a frequent guest at fundraising events around the globe,[460] and regularly visits children's hospitals and orphanages when she is abroad.[461][462] She has been involved with the Starlight Children's Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation,[463] and is listed on the "First Families" of the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, which means she has donated US$100,000 or more to the hospital.[464] In 2008, a room at the hospital was named in her honor, and for her charitable efforts, Starlight awarded Hilton, along with mother Kathy and sister Nicky, the 2011 Heart of Gold Award.[465][466]

She supported Hillary Clinton's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.[467]

In 2011, Hilton supported the LGBT rights organization NOH8,[468] and participated at the American Red Cross run to benefit relief effort in Japan, hosted by actor Josh Duhamel in Santa Monica, CA.[469] In 2014, The American Humane Association awarded Hilton with the National Humanitarian Award.[470][471]

In August 2015, Hilton raised US$100,000 for children with disabilities in Ibiza. In February 2017, Hilton donated 50 of her personal items to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles and the Starlight Children's Foundation, and in November that year, she visited San Gregorio Atlapulco, Mexico, where she handed out food and clothes to the affected families following the 2017 Central Mexico earthquake; she donated her merchandises (perfume and cushion) and also US$350,000 to help rebuild seven different homes that were affected.[472][473][474]

In October 2018, Hilton hosted Rock The Runway, an event benefitting Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and The Sasha Project LA.[475] 20 percent of the proceeds from her 2018 five-nail polishes line with Nail and Bone goes to Animal Haven, a New York-based non-profit rescue group.[212] In June 2019, Hilton was part of the annual, all-female Cash & Rocket auto rally, which took place across Europe and raised money for Sumbandila, The Helen Bamber Foundation and Dream for Future Africa Foundation.[476][477]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hilton performed a DJ set at the virtual music festival #TrillerFest, to drive donations for No Kid Hungry and Music Cares,[478] and a portion of the proceeds from her merchandise collection went to Frontline Foods and local restaurants feeding frontline workers.[232]

On February 8, 2021, Hilton appeared before the Utah State Legislature to testify on behalf of a proposed measure that would require more government oversight of youth residential treatment centers and require them to document when they use restraints. During her testimony, Hilton said that she had been emotionally and physically abused during her 11-month stay at Provo Canyon School when she was 17.[479] She accused staffers at Provo School of beating her, subjecting her to strip searches, force-feeding her medication, watching her shower, and sending her to solitary confinement without clothes as punishment.[480] She was one of several former patients to testify about suffering abusive treatment at Provo School on behalf of the measure.[481] Hilton had previously spoken about the abuse in the YouTube documentary This Is Paris, released in September 2020.[482][483] She is working on a troubled teens program with rapper Bhad Bhabie, for youths who have experienced abuse at reeducation camps.[484]


Hilton earned about US$2 million between 2003 and 2004, US$6.5 million between 2004 and 2005,[485] and US$7 million between 2005 and 2006.[486]

In December 2007, Hilton's grandfather Barron Hilton pledged 97 percent of his estate (the Hilton family fortune) to a charitable organization founded by her great-grandfather Conrad Hilton: the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.[487] As a result, his grandchildren's inheritance was reduced.[488][489] An immediate pledge of US$1.2 billion (proceeds from the sale of Hilton Hotels Corporation) was made, with a further US$1.1 billion due after his death.[487] Barron cited the actions of his father, Conrad Hilton, as the motivation for his pledge.[487] Conrad (Barron's father) had also left 97 percent of his estate to the foundation, and Barron contested his father's will to regain a sizable amount of the family fortune in a settlement.[490]

Much of her income comes from her retail businesses, which include 50 stores and 19 product lines, and have generated sales of over US$4 billion.[491] While Hilton has commanded up to US$750,000 and US$1 million for appearances in parties and promotional events, her regular fee is around US$250,000–US$300,000.[491][492] Since debuting as a DJ in 2012, she has been paid as much as US$1 million for a single set,[493][494] and in 2014, she earned US$2.7 million for four nights work—US$347,000 an hour—as part of her two-month residence in Ibiza.[495][496][497]

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