Paris Hilton in Charge
An heir to the famous Conrad Hilton fortune, Paris worked very hard to go from being seen as just another rich girl to being seen as a very rich girl who works very hard to get even richer.
Paris Hilton was born in New York City, but spent her childhood in Beverly Hills. Paris has Norwegian, German, Italian (from a maternal great grandfather), English, and Irish blood. Her Germanic good looks quickly stood out.
When she hit her teenage years, family friend Donald Trump took her on as a model at his agency. In the early 2000s, Trump told Howard Stern:
Now, somebody who a lot of people don't give credit to but is in actuality very beautiful is Paris Hilton. I've known Paris Hilton from the time she's 12, her parents are friends of mine. And, the first time I saw her she walked into the room and I said, 'Who the hell is that?' At 12, I wasn't interested but she was beautiful.
After working the party scene hard with her sister Nicky Hilton to get noticed, Paris succeeded in winning the attention of Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar De La Hoya. After dallying with them, Paris quickly moved on.
In 2017, Paris announced that she was going to release her 24th fragrance. She is a true tycoon of the perfume industry.
Paris also announced in mid-2017 that she was going to return to television with another reality television show after years of denying any interest in doing another show. She has said that she likes to watch her old reality television series with her boyfriend.
Paris loves her old reality television series, but some things about it continue to annoy her:
People think because of the character I played — people assume before they meet me that I’m a really ditzy dumb blonde,” she explained. “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] — that I would have to continue playing this character for five years. 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.
I’m really into butterfly wings! I love wearing them to music festivals.
The notorious Paris Hilton tape - "1 Night in Paris" - was one of the more prominent videos in that strange category of rags to riches (or riches to riches, as was more often the case) sex videos that also suddenly appeared from celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Pamela Anderson.
Paris uttered the usual denials about the sex tape, and a furious legal battle ensued. A judge tossed out Hilton’s $30 million invasion of privacy claim, but awarded her $400,000 from Salomon. Paris has said she "never made a dime" off the film.
A few weeks after the sex tape appeared, Paris' reality series, "The Simple Life," premiered. This followed a now-standard practice of scandalous material about a starlet appearing by pure happenstance right before some major project of the starlet. Of course, there is no provable connection between Paris and the tape other than... appearing in it. Lizzie Grubman, Hilton's publicist, commented with a straight face:
I think that it is personally embarrassing, a complete invasion of her privacy. But she does have a show to promote, and I think it will help sell the show.It is important to point out that, while Paris may have benefited in one way or another from the tape, that does not mean she had anything to do with its release.
Paris has made clear her own views of the sex tape, telling Piers Morgan in 2011:
It was the most embarrassing, humiliating thing that's ever happened to me in my life. People assume that ‘oh she’s a slut’ just because of one thing that happened to me and it’s hard, I’ll have to live with that the rest of my life.
Paris has a history of timing releases for a synergistic effect. To solidify her celebrity, Paris in 2004 released a humorous autobiography co-written by Merle Ginsberg, "Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose." The same year, she released a perfume line by Parlux Fragrances.
In 2005, Paris Hilton published a second book, "Your Heiress Diary: Confess It All to Me." It was the same year that she introduced another fragrance, Just Me.
Paris also has done a little acting. At the height of her notoriety, she appeared in "House of Wax" (2005). Some would say that her reality television series involve quite a bit of acting, too. Paris appeared in four episodes of the Danish version of "Paradise Hotel," for which she was reportedly paid $300,000 - quite a sum of money for Denmark. Most of her acting since "House of Wax," though, has come as a byproduct of another of her many talents: singing.
In 2005 Hilton signed to Warner Brothers records as a singer and began working with producers such as Scott Storch, Tom Whalley, J.R. Rotem, Dr. Luke, Fernando Garibay and Kara DioGuardi. After spending time in the recording studio, Paris in 2006 released a self-titled album. The first single, "Stars Are Blind," did quite well on the charts, debuting in the Top 20 of the album charts. Paris has returned to her singing singing career periodically over the years, and acts in her own music videos.
The album, "Paris," reached number six on the Billboard 200, and has sold over 600,000 copies worldwide. That's not a bad result at all for someone who basically sings as a just one of many outlets for her talent (or "brand," as she would call it).
Paris has her detractors, for sure. Some say that she worked her beauty hard in order to gain fame and money in a manner that was crass and unbecoming. It also is said that she uses people to get ahead, though what this multi-millionaire is getting ahead of isn't exactly clear, as she was born ahead and didn't have to lift a finger to stay there.
That being said, there is no question that Paris Hilton works very hard to achieve her goals. She has branched out in many different directions, and found success in virtually all of them. These include her own fashion line and perfume endorsements, and is a fixture on the paid celebrity circuit at nightclubs around the world. She has indicated that the title she most prefers is that of "businesswoman," and there's no question she is a very good one.
We started a whole new genre of celebrity that no one had ever seen before.
Paris Hilton's trademark phrase is, "That’s hot." She legally trademarked it and thus owns it in various applications.
Nowadays, I feel like it’s so easy becoming famous. Anybody with a phone can do it.
To now see things on the runway, and to see girls wearing things that I used to wear is really cool because nobody really dressed like me back in the day,
Paris Hilton's home was used as a movie set for Sofia Coppola’s "The Bling Ring" in 2013.
Paris Hilton has over 7 million Instagram followers.