Paris Hilton (born February 17, 1981) is an American socialite, heiress, media personality, model, actress, singer and DJ. She is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton (founder of Hilton Hotels). In 2003 she debuted in music by releasing her debut album Paris.
She followed this up with her 2004 album Paris Hilton which featured the single Stars Are Blind, which brought her into the mainstream music spotlight and earned her several awards including best dance recording at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards.
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Who is Paris Hilton?
A sex tape released by Paris Hilton in 2003 caught the media’s attention. Paris’s first book, Confessions of An Heiress, became a New York Times best-seller after she starred in The Simple Life and House of Wax.
With her romances, music ventures, and television shows like The World According to Paris and Hollywood Love Story, she has been in and out of the headlines for decades now.
Early Life and Modeling
Paris Whitney Hilton was born in New York City on February 17, 1981, to real estate developer Richard Hilton and socialite Kathy Richards. Along with her siblings Nicky and Barron, she is one of multiple heirs to the Hilton hotel fortune.
After her family bestowed her childhood nickname, Star from her mother and grandmother, Hilton, who began modeling at a young age at charitable functions, was born into acting stock. Her maternal grandmother was actress Big Kathy Dugan and aunts Kim and Kyle Richards are also actors. Hilton is also a third-cousin by marriage of Zsa Zsa Gabor, who wedded Hilton’s great-grandfather Conrad Hilton and Elizabeth Taylor, who was once married to Conrad Nicholson Hilton Jr., Hilton’s great-uncle.
Her childhood consisted of moving between multiple mansions; one of them was the Beverly Hills mansion, which she also lived in her freshman year of high school. In 1996, when the Hilton family relocated to New York City, they lived in the luxury of a suite at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and frequented a multimillion-dollar home in the Hamptons.
The two made the move from the East Coast, quickly adapting to society life, charitable causes, fashion shows, and big-ticket Hollywood affairs. In 2000, photographer David LaChapelle profiled them in Vanity Fair magazine and from there their lives took off.
At this time, Paris Hilton signed a deal with Donald Trump’s modelling agency. It did not take long for her to appear in the modelling campaigns for a series of designers such as Christian Dior and Tommy Hilfiger, and in the pages of national publications. Hilton proceeded to work with other high-profile agencies including Ford Models Management and London’s Model 1 Agency.
Sex Tape and ‘The Simple Life’
A short four-minute clip featuring Paris Hilton, dated November 2003, began to circulate on the Internet under the name One Night in Paris, showing her engaged in various intimate acts with then-boyfriend Rick Salomon. Salomon made millions off the video, with Paris Hilton bringing the case to court to seek more.
They reached an undisclosed settlement. On top of that, she issued a statement declaring that the video was never supposed to be an advertisement.
About three weeks after the video was released, Hilton’s first reality television show, The Simple Life, aired on FOX. She was partnered with friend and fellow socialite, Nicole Richie, and the two performed blue-collar work and laboured at menial tasks on camera.
It was thought that Hilton’s notoriety would harm the show’s ratings and potential audience, but the show turned out to be a resounding success.
A few months later, Hilton appeared on Saturday Night Live on behalf of Guess and was tapped to star in three worldwide campaigns. During her interview with Jimmy Fallon, she poked fun at the Salomon tape scandal with a variety of double entendres.
Arrest and Jailtime
While her business endeavors were booming, Paris Hilton’s out-of-control personal lifestyle eventually took a turn for the worse when, in September 2006, she was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. She has been arrested and placed on probation. Not even a few months later, she went back to court due to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office saying she violated her probation terms by driving on a suspended license.
As of May 2007, Hilton was sentenced to 45 days in jail. In June of that same year, she went straight from the 2007 MTV Movie Awards to the Lynwood Regional Detention Facility after being given an overnight sentence of 23 days. Though she served less than a week, after less than four full days in jail she was granted early release on June 7th due to undisclosed health reasons.
Responding to the perception that Hilton was receiving preferential treatment because of her celebrity status, a judge ordered Hilton to return to jail. Upon hearing the sentence, Hilton yelled, It’s not fair! and pleaded with her mother. She was consequently transferred to the medical wing of Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles and sent back to the Century Regional Detention Facility on June 13th.
Paris Hilton served a total of 22 days in detention and was released on June 26, 2007. Networks were eagerly vieing for her first post-incarceration interview. Some people frowned at her family’s offer of a million-dollar fee. So then, following her arrest and public disdain, a furious Walters refused, and CNN’s interest dwindled. Eventually, a reformed Paris Hilton appeared for free on Larry King Live, maintaining that the jail’s minister had inspired her to make a new beginning.