Paris Whitney Hilton (born February 17, 1981) is an American celebrity, socialite, actress, and singer. She is an heiress to a share of the Hilton Hotel fortune, as well as to the real estate fortune of her father Richard Hilton.
Hilton rose to fame when a home-made sex video of her was leaked onto the Internet in late 2003. The release of the tape, later titled 1 Night in Paris (2004), attracted worldwide publicity and contributed to the success of Hilton's Fox reality series The Simple Life. As an actress, she has appeared in several minor roles, most notably in the horror film House of Wax (2005), and in 2006, she released the self-titled album Paris.
In September 2006, she was arrested for driving under the influence and subsequently sentenced to 36 months probation and had her license suspended. In February 2007, she was stopped for driving at 70 mph in a 35 mph zone and charged with violating her probation. Hilton was sentenced to 45 days in jail, which was later reduced to 23.
Early life and family background
Born in New York City, New York, Hilton is the oldest of four children of Richard Hilton and Kathy Richards. Her younger sister is Nicky Hilton, and her younger brothers are Barron Hilton II, and Conrad Hilton III. On the maternal side of her family, Hilton is a niece of two popular child stars of the 1970s, Kim Richards and Kyle Richards. By marriage, she also is related to Zsa Zsa Gabor and Elizabeth Taylor. Her paternal grandparents are hotel chairman Barron Hilton, and his wife, the former Marilyn Hawley; Hilton's paternal great-grandparents were Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton and his first wife, Mary Barron. When Conrad Hilton died in 1979, he left nothing in his will to his children or other descendants. Barron Hilton contested this decision and prevailed in court in 1988. The value of Paris's inheritance has been variously estimated at between $30 and $50 million.
Hilton moved between several exclusive homes in her youth, including a suite in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, Beverly Hills, and the Hamptons. She attended her freshman year of high school in Rancho Mirage, California at the Marywood-Palm Valley School and her sophomore and junior years of high school at the Dwight School in New York, but dropped out, and eventually earned a GED.
Hilton began modeling as a child, appearing first in charity events. At 19, she signed with Donald Trump's modeling agency, T Management. Hilton has worked with modeling agencies such as Ford Models Management in New York, Models 1 Agency in London, Nous Model Management in Los Angeles, and Premier Model Management in London. She has appeared in numerous advertising campaigns, including Iceberg Vodka, GUESS, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Dior, and Marciano. In 2001, Hilton began to develop a reputation as a 19-year-old socialite, being identified as "New York's leading It Girl" whose fame was beginning to "extend beyond the New York tabloids".
Sex video and rise to fame
The leak of a three-year-old home-made sex video of Hilton with her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon a week prior to the premiere of her Fox reality series The Simple Life attracted worldwide attention in late 2003. The release of the tape led to speculation that it was a deliberate publicity stunt, but Hilton has strongly denied such claims and stated she was "embarrassed" and "humiliated" by the publicity brought by the tape. The sex video, subsequently called 1 Night in Paris (2004) was later released on DVD and Hilton received directorial credit. The film earned three AVN Awards in 2005, including "Best Selling Title of the Year". Hilton originally sued Salomon over the release of the tape, but settled out of court in July 2005. Hilton was reportedly awarded up to $400,000 and planned to donate a percentage to charity, although in a 2006 interview with GQ magazine she stated that she never received money from the sale of the video.
The Simple Life premiered on December 2, 2003, starring Hilton and Nicole Richie, the adopted daughter of Lionel Richie, and it became a mid-season success for Fox. During the course of the season they lived with a family on their farm in rural Altus, Arkansas. The show featured Hilton and Richie working at a variety of blue collar jobs, making out with local men, and performing menial tasks associated with farm life. The pair's resistance to appreciate and engage in the "simple life" was a central theme on the series.
After the success of the first season, The Simple Life was followed by two more seasons on Fox. The network then canceled the show after a falling out between Hilton and Richie, but the show was consequently picked up by E! Entertainment Television for a fourth season, and another season is scheduled to premiere in May 2007 on E!.
Hilton has appeared in minor and supporting roles in the feature films Nine Lives (2002), Raising Helen (2004), The Hillz (2004), and House of Wax (2005). Her role as Paige Edwards in House of Wax won the Teen Choice Award for "Best Scream" and earned her a nomination for "Choice Breakout Performance – Female". She also earned a nomination for "Best Frightened Performance" at the 2006. Hilton landed her first lead roles in 2006 with the straight-to-DVD releases National Lampoon's Pledge This! (2006) and Bottom's Up (2006). She also appeared in cameo roles in films such as Zoolander (2001) among others.
Hilton has several upcoming theatrical releases in which she is the lead role, including The Hottie and the Nottie (2008), and an untitled superhero movie involving Stan Lee. Plans for Hilton to lend her name, and also star in a cartoon series which follows the animated life of herself, her sister Nicky, and her dog Tinkerbell are in production. Hilton has also guest starred in episodes of The O.C., The George Lopez Show, Las Vegas, American Dreams and Veronica Mars.
Hilton began working on an album in 2004 and her self-titled debut, Paris, was released on August 22, 2006. Although the album reached number six on the Billboard 200 for a week, its total sales volume has been low. Producers for Paris include Greg Wells, Kara DioGuardi, Jane Wiedlin and Scott Storch. Hilton collaborated with Fat Joe and Jadakiss on the song "Fighting Over Me". The first single from Paris, "Stars Are Blind", produced by Fernando Garibay, was released for download on June 20, 2006 and peaked at number eighteen on the Billboard Hot 100; "Turn It Up" and "Nothing in This World" followed as worldwide singles. While All Music Guide commented on the album, "it's more fun than anything released by Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson, and a lot fresher, too.", critical reception as a whole has been mixed.
In August 2006, it was revealed that underground artists Banksy and Danger Mouse replaced 500 copies of Hilton's debut album in various UK record stores with their own parody remixes and cover art. Along with completely reworked liner notes that included topless photos of Hilton slathered with slogans like "Every CD you buy puts me even further out of your league", Danger Mouse has replaced Hilton's original songs with his own remixes.
Hilton is the founder of Heiress Records, a sub-label of Warner Bros. Records, which she created in 2004. Heiress Records' only release as of yet has been Paris, though Hilton has said that she plans to sign new artists in the future. According to June 2007 news reports, however, Hilton has been dropped by Warner Bros. Records, because single and album sales did not meet expectations. Futhermore, a Warner reprensentative was quoted saying, "We are not expecting any new Paris Hilton material in the foreseeable future." 
In the autumn of 2004, Hilton released an autobiographical book, Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose, co-written by Merle Ginsberg, which includes full color photographs of her and gives her advice on the life as an heiress. Hilton reportedly received a $100,000 in advanced payment for this book. Some in the media panned the writing as amateurish, and the book was parodied by Robert Mundell on The Late Show with David Letterman. Nonetheless, the book became a New York Times bestseller. Hilton followed it up with a designer diary, also with Ginsberg, called Your Heiress Diary: Confess It All To Me.
Hilton has helped design a collection of purses for Japanese label Samantha Thavasa, and has also been involved in the design of a jewelry line for Amazon.com. In 2004, Hilton was involved in the creation of a perfume line by Parlux Fragrances. Originally set to be a small release, demand was high and necessitated a wider release before Christmas of 2004. The launch was followed by a 47% increase in sales for Parlux, which was predominantly due to sales of the Hilton-branded perfume. After the success of Hilton's perfume, Parlux Fragrances released several more perfumes with Hilton's name, including fragrances lines for men.
Hilton lent her name to a chain of nightclubs known as Club Paris in 2005. The first of which in Orlando, Florida has been a success, and a second club located in Jacksonville, Florida opened in July 2006. Hilton was fired in January 2007 by the owner of Club Paris, Fred Khalilian, after she had failed to attend several scheduled promotional appearances.
Hilton was engaged to male fashion model Jason Shaw from mid-2002 to early 2003. On May 29, 2005, she announced her engagement to Paris Latsis, a Greek shipping heir; the engagement was called off five months later. Thereafter, she began dating another Greek shipping heir, Stavros Niarchos III, but in May 2006, Hilton publicist Elliot Mintz informed the press Paris and Stavros had broken up. In an attempt to rediscover herself, Hilton imposed a ban on sexual activity for one year starting in July 2006. She told Regis and Kelly: "One-night stands are not for me. I think it's gross when you just give it up. Guys want you more, if you don't just hand it to them on a platter."
In January 2007, Hilton's private life again created headlines with the launch of ParisExposed.com, a website that featured images of personal documents, video, and other private material, allegedly obtained when the contents of a storage locker rented by Hilton were auctioned off due to lack of payment. CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 discussed footage obtained from the website which features Hilton using several ethnic slurs. On February 3, 2007 Hilton obtained a temporary injunction against ParisExposed.com, closing down the website.
In November 2004, Hilton participated in Sean "Diddy" Combs' Citizen Change campaign to encourage youths to vote in the presidential election. She drew criticism after it was revealed she had neither voted nor registered to do so.
Hilton was arrested and charged with driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of 0.08, the limit in California, in September 2006. Hilton's drivers license was subsequently suspended in November 2006, and in January 2007 she pled no contest to the alcohol-related reckless driving charge. Her punishment was a 36 month probation sentence and fines of about $1,500.
On February 27, 2007 Hilton was caught driving 70 MPH in a 35 MPH zone with a suspended license. She also did not have her headlights on, even though it was after dark. Prosecutors in the office of the Los Angeles City Attorney charged that those actions, along with the failure to enroll in a court-ordered alcohol education program constituted a violation of the terms of her probation. On May 4, 2007 Hilton was sentenced by Judge Michael T. Sauer to 45 days in jail for violating her probation, and she is required to begin her jail term June 5, 2007 or risk a doubling of her sentence.
Initially, Hilton planned to appeal her sentence, and supported an online petition asking California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for a pardon.. In response, various opponents started a petition to maintain the sentence. Both petitions attracted tens of thousands of signatures. Paris later switched lawyers, and dropped her plans to appeal. Due to various reasons, the Los Angeles County Sheriff anticipates Hilton to only serve about 23 days of her sentence. She will be housed in a special location within the jail facility "reserved for police officers, public officials, celebrities and other high-profile inmates".
On June 3, 2007, after attending the 2007 MTV Movie Awards Hilton checked herself into the Men's Central Jail of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles at 11:38 pm. From there Hilton was then taken by authorities to the Century Regional Detention Facility an all female jail in Lynwood, California. Hilton was given the inmate booking number 9818783.
In popular culture
While Hilton has been quoted as saying that she is the "iconic blonde of the decade"' and comparing herself to Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe (a claim she later denied in the May 2007 issue of Harper's Bazaar), she will reportedly appear in the 2007 Guinness World Records as the world's "Most Overrated Celebrity". In a poll conducted by the Associated Press and AOL, Hilton was voted the second "Worst Celebrity Role Model of 2006", behind Britney Spears. Critics have alleged that Hilton epitomizes the title of famous for being famous; echoing that sentiment, the Associated Press conducted what they called an experiment in late February 2007, trying not to report on Hilton for a whole week.
On May 11, 2007, a statue by Daniel Edwards entitled Paris Hilton Autopsy was revealed at Capla Kesting Fine Art in New York featuring her dead, naked, and with her legs spread. The sculpture is aimed at stopping young women from drinking and driving.
- Wishman (1991)
- Sweetie Pie (2000)
- Zoolander (2001; cameo)
- Nine Lives (2002)
- QIK2JDG (2002)
- L.A. Knights (2003)
- Wonderland (2003)
- The Cat in the Hat (2003)
- The Hillz (2004)
- Raising Helen (2004)
- House of Wax (2005)
- Bottoms Up (2006)
- Pledge This! (2006)
- The Hottie and the Nottie (2008)