Family background

Hilton is the oldest of four children of Richard Hilton and Kathy Richards. Her younger sister is Nicky Hilton (after paternal great-uncle, Conrad Nicholson Hilton II, ‘Nicky’), and her younger brothers are Barron Hilton II (after paternal grandfather Barron Hilton), and Conrad Hilton III (after paternal great-grandfather Conrad Nicholson Hilton I).

On the maternal side of her family, Hilton is a niece of two popular child stars of the 1970s—Kim Richards and Kyle Richards, who appeared in the motion picture Escape to Witch Mountain and TV shows such as Nanny and the Professor, Little House on the Prairie, and later, ER. By marriage, she also is related to Zsa Zsa Gabor (the Hungarian-born actress married Paris Hilton’s great-grandfather Conrad Hilton), as well as Elizabeth Taylor (the actress’s first husband was Paris Hilton’s great-uncle, Conrad Nicholson Hilton Jr.).

Her paternal grandparents are hotel chairman Barron Hilton, and his wife, the former Marilyn Hawley; and Hilton’s paternal great-grandparents were Hilton Hotel 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 won in 1988. The value of Paris’s inheritance has been variously estimated at between (US) $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. Currently, her parents own a $30.5 million mansion in Bel Air, a $12.3 million estate in the Hamptons, and a $10 million house in the Hollywood Hills in which she and her sister stay to give them privacy. 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 did not attend college.

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Media career

In early 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”. The leak of her then three-year-old sex video in 2003 fueled an “Internet frenzy” a week prior to the premiere of The Simple Life, leading to speculation that it was a deliberate publicity stunt. Hilton has strongly denied such claims and stated she was “embarrassed” and “humiliated” by the publicity brought by the tape.

In recent years Hilton has gained recognition and income by appearing in television, movies, television commercials, and modeling photographs. According to Forbes Magazine’s annual Celebrity 100, Hilton earned approximately $2 million in 2003–2004, $6.5 million in 2004-2005, and $7 million in 2005-2006.

Fashion model

Hilton began modeling at a young age, appearing first in charity events as a child. In 2000, the then nineteen year old signed with Donald Trump’s modeling agency, T Management. Hilton has since worked with the top modeling agencies 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 advertisements, including Iceberg, GUESS, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Dior, and Marciano.

Actress

Hilton and Nicole Richie (adopted daughter of Lionel Richie) starred in the 2003 FOX hit reality series The Simple Life, in which they lived with a family on their farm in rural Altus, Arkansas. Highlights of the show included the girls performing poorly at various jobs, making out with the local boys, and numerous instances of them shown as “fish out of water”. It was followed by two more seasons on FOX: The Simple Life 2: Road Trip and The Simple Life 3: Interns, and another on E!: The Simple Life 4: ‘ Til Death Do Us Part. A fifth season to be aired on E! is currently in development stages.

Hilton has appeared in minor and supporting roles in the feature films House of Wax (2005), The Hillz (2004), Raising Helen (2004), and Nine Lives (2002). Her role in House of Wax won the Teen Choice Award for “Best Scream”, and earned a “Choice Breakout Performance – Female” and a “Best Frightened Performance” nomination at the MTV Movie Awards 2006. Hilton landed her first lead roles in 2006 with the straight-to-DVD releases National Lampoon’s Pledge This! and Bottom’s Up with Jason Mewes. She also appeared in cameo roles in Zoolander (2001), The Cat in the Hat (2003), Wonderland (2003), and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004). She has also acted in the short subjects QIK2JDG (2002) and L.A. Knights (2003). 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.

Hilton also starred in 1 Night in Paris (2004), an unauthorized sex video with her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon, for which she 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. According to reports, Hilton was awarded up to $400,000 and planned to donate a percentage to charity. However, in a 2006 interview with GQ magazine, she stated: “I never received a dime from (the video). It’s just dirty money and (Salomon) should give it all to some charity for the sexually abused or something.”

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’s voice was used in See Paris Die! a viral animation promoting House of Wax and appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, when she claimed to have trade marked the term “that’s hot”.

Additionally, Hilton has been featured in several television commercials, including a T-Mobile commercial for which she was paid $250,000 and a Carl’s Jr. commercial for which she was paid $400,000 according to Forbes Magazine.

Hilton has also appeared in several music videos, including It Girl by John Oates (of Hall & Oates fame), Just Lose It by Eminem and Caught Up In The Rapture by Won-G featuring Gizelle.

Recording artist

Hilton is the founder of Heiress Records, a sub-label of Warner Bros. Records, which she created in 2004. Though Heiress Records’ only release as of yet has been Paris, Hilton has said that she plans to sign new artists in the future.

Hilton began work on an album in 2004. The album; Paris, was released on August 22, 2006. Before release, Hilton hinted that her album would feature a number of genres, such as pop, reggae, and hip-hop.

Paris debuted at number 6 on the Billboard 200.

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 #18 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Turn It Up” and “Nothing in This World” followed “Stars Are Blind” as worldwide singles. Hilton is already planning and recording tracks for her second album, including a new song called “Daddy’s Little Girl”.

All Music Guide stated, “…it’s more fun than anything released by Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson, and a lot fresher, too.”

* Billboard

“Paris Hilton’s debut “Stars Are Blind” got off to a fast start at radio, with its fresh, sun-splashed reggae vibe—even those who ridicule her vacuous image had to admit it was a tasty little pop morsel—but it stalled surprisingly fast, just scratching the Pop 100 top 15. While aborted second single “Turn It Up” still heads to clubs, duly remixed, Warner Bros. is now calling for top 40 adds with “Nothing in this World,” another undeniably catchy, hook-happy midtempo jewel. The vocal is strikingly similar to “Stars”—mercy, does this mean that Hilton can actually sing? Sounds like Miss Paris could teach top 40’s superstars a thing or two about melody. And with her Billboard 200 debut at a lofty No. 6 this issue, the public seems to agree. Who would have ever suspected? — Chuck Taylor”

In August/September 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 Ms. 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 and given them titles such as “Why am I Famous?”, “What Have I Done?” and “What Am I For?” Banksy has doctored pictures of her on the CD sleeve to show Hilton topless and with a dog’s head.

Paris Hilton has her own channel in YouTube which is currently the #34 most subscribed channel of all time on the service, with over 10,000 subscriptions and 2,000,000 views.

Paris Hilton was recently named as one of the “Hottest Women of Pop/Rock” by Blender Magazine, citing: “She’s a paparazzi magnet, amateur-porn icon, pop singer and self-proclaimed all-around ‘sexy blonde bitch.'”

Other activities

In the autumn of 2004, Hilton released a book, Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose co-written by Merle Ginsberg, which has full color photographs of her and gives her tips on the dos and don’ts of living as an heiress. Hilton was reportedly given $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—Your Heiress Diary: Confess It All To Me. Aimed at her young fans, it contained pages encouraging fans to write about their goals, their friends and family, boys, celebrities they admire, etc. Hilton plans to release another book in 2007.

Hilton has helped design a collection of purses for Tokyo, Japan label Samantha Thavasa and has also been involved in the design of a jewelry line, The Paris Hilton Collection, for Amazon.com. Hilton launched the Paris Hilton Limited Edition Watch Collection brand during a news conference at the Tourneau store in New York November 30, 2005. Hilton’s 18kt white gold and diamond encrusted watches that she helped design start at $100,000. Hilton also has plans to launch a fashion line.

Hilton began her own chain of nightclubs known as Club Paris in 2005. The first of which in Orlando, Florida has been a major success. The second located in Jacksonville, Florida opened July 1, 2006, she has also opened a popular Club Paris in the Gold Coast, Australia. Hilton is in talks to develop further clubs in Las Vegas, New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and Cancun, Mexico. She also hopes to take the clubs to overseas markets and to expand the clubs to become five-star hotels featuring accommodation and casinos. Paris was fired in January 2007 by the owner of Club Paris, Fred Khalilian, after she had failed to attend several scheduled appearances. An upcoming reality show created by Khalilian will feature 18 women competing to be the next ‘Ms. Club Paris USA’, who will then replace Paris as the face of the club chain.

Gameloft, a developer and publisher of mobile games, previewed a Paris Hilton-branded mobile game called Paris Hilton’s Diamond Quest at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). As of May 26, 2006, Gameloft’s press release states that “…the company decided on a title to reflect the fresh, dynamic and sexy appeal of the heiress extraordinaire.”

In early May of 2004, Hilton was involved in the creation of a fragrance line by Parlux Fragrances. The perfume would be aptly named Paris Hilton. Hilton said, “It’s really hot. I mixed all these scents together…it smells so good”. The perfume launch was a success. 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 Paris Hilton for Men, a cologne for Hilton’s male admirers, as well as another fragrance called Just Me by Paris Hilton, which is available for both women and men. Another perfume titled Heiress by Paris Hilton was released in October 2006. A counterpart for men, Heir by Paris Hilton, has also been released by Parlux, with a new line of color cosmetics set to follow.

In November of 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 even registered to do so.

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Personal life

Hilton has been widely discussed by tabloids. In 2000, the National Enquirer reported a casual friendship with Leonardo DiCaprio as something far more intimate. She has also been linked to other celebrities, including Nu-Metal singer/producer Fred Durst, professional skateboarder Chad Muska, filmmaker Vincent Gallo, actor Edward Furlong, boxer Oscar de la Hoya, Chicago Bears football player Brian Urlacher, singers Deryck Whibley and Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, former University of Southern California and current Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart, UK rap artist Joe Buckton, Australian tennis player Mark Philippoussis, Australian Idol contestant Robert ‘Millsy’ Mills, fashion model Lucas Bain, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, NHL Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jose Theodore, England cricketer Kevin Pietersen and ex-MTV VJ Simon Rex.

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. However, on October 1, 2005, Hilton announced that the five-month engagement had been called off. Soon thereafter, she began dating another Greek shipping heir, Stavros Niarchos III, but as of May 2, 2006, Hilton publicist Elliot Mintz told the press of the reported breakup.

On 20 April 2005, amid media reports that their friendship was in trouble, Paris Hilton released a statement about her best friend Nicole Richie, saying: “It’s no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends. Nicole knows what she did, and that’s all I’m ever going to say about it.” In 2006, Hilton told HX Magazine the reasons for the split was that she and Nicole “grew apart because of fame.” As of October 9, 2006, reports claim to indicate that the 18 month feud between Hilton and Richie is over. They rekindled their friendship with a meal, sleepover, and photographs. Hilton said she was delighted to resume their old friendship, and it is believed that their mutual disagreements regarding the new season of The Simple Life helped bring the two friends back together.

On July 11, 2006 in an attempt to “rediscover herself”, Hilton imposed a ban on sexual activity for one year. She told Regis and Kelly: “I’m doing it just because I want to. I feel I’m becoming stronger as a person. Every time I have a boyfriend, I’m just so romantic, and I’ll put all my energy into the guy, and I don’t really pay attention to myself. 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. If they want you, then they will wait. You have to make them work for it. I think that’s the only way you know if they really want you or just want to be able to brag that they’ve been with you.” Despite her comments of a single life, Hilton was photographed kissing Brandon Davis on July 16, 2006 in West Hollywood. Hilton was also photographed making out with Stavros Niarchos III in Saint-Tropez on July 30, 2006. On July 31, 2006, she told People that she and Stavros are together again. The couple split in May after seven months of dating. “We’re together now here. We love each other,” Hilton says.

On September 7, 2006, Hilton was arrested for driving under the influence, even though she claimed that she had just one margarita, and that the high alcohol content in her blood was a result of having no time to eat during a long day while making a music video. Hilton was arrested shortly before 12:30 a.m. in Hollywood. “The officers observed that Hilton exhibited the symptoms of intoxication. A field sobriety test was conducted at scene, and the officers determined she was driving under the influence,” a LAPD spokesman said. Hilton’s blood alcohol content was .08, California’s limit. Hilton was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI and released almost immediately due to the flood of photographers outside. She stated she was speeding to get food at the In-N-Out Burger restaurant. On January 22, 2007, Hilton pled no contest to alcohol-related reckless driving, a lesser charge than driving under the influence. She was placed on 36 months probation and ordered to pay fines of about US$1,500.

On January 22, 2007, Hilton’s private life was again thrust into the media spotlight with the launch of ParisExposed.com, a website that claims to feature images of personal documents, video, and other material allegedly obtained when the contents of a storage locker rented by Hilton was auctioned off due to lack of a $208 payment. The site began charging online access to this material.

The owner of the site, Bardia Persa, claims he paid close to US$10 million to acquire the items from Nabil and Nabila Haniss, a couple who paid US$2,775 for the contents of the storage unit. Persa stated he expects to break even on the purchase, as his website received 1.2 million visitors in just over 40 hours. Among the contents of the container found were medications, diaries, photographs, contracts and love letters, as well as a video of her shot by Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild, whom she once dated.

Hilton filed a federal lawsuit on January 27, 2007 against the Haniss couple and Persa. Hilton said that a moving company was responsible for paying the storage fees for the locker. On February 3, 2007 the judge presiding over the lawsuit issued a temporary injunction against ParisExposed.com, in an effort to keep the site from releasing personal information about Hilton.

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Media spotlight

In the March 2005 issue of Playboy, she was named the “Sex Star of the Year” in their list of the 25 Sexiest Celebrities. Someone appearing to be her, allegedly a look-a-like and not Hilton herself, was on the cover of the issue. Hilton’s spokeswoman said she did not know where the picture came from.

On March 8, 2006, Brian Quintana, an event producer, was granted a three-year restraining order against Hilton after he testified that she harassed and threatened him. Quintana claimed their relationship soured after he urged Stavros Niarchos III to reconsider dating Hilton. In May of 2006, Maxim magazine ranked Hilton #38 on its annual Hot 100 list.

In an interview with TMZ.com’s Harvey Levin, Hilton read thousands of comments by TMZ users. The comments were, for the most part, negative and focused on her public image as a partying rich girl. Hilton referred to the comments as “mean and sadistic”. Hilton also commented on her famous sex tape, saying that she is “judged because of something that an ex-boyfriend did” and that she is “not a slut at all”. Hilton said some of the comments made her cry. “They think I don’t have any feelings.”

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, she will reportedly appear in the 2007 Guinness World Records as the world’s “Most Overrated Celebrity”. On August 29, 2006, the mayor of Las Vegas proclaimed the day, “Paris Hilton Day” and gave Hilton a key to the city. Hilton says Vegas is her “favorite place in the world to come to party.”

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.

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