Paris Whitney Hilton (born February 17, 1981) is an American socialite, heiress, media personality, model, singer, author, fashion designer and actress. She is a great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton (founder of Hilton Hotels). Hilton is known for her controversial participation in a sex tape in 2003, and appearance on the television series The Simple Life alongside fellow socialite and childhood best friend Nicole Richie. She is also known for her 2004 tongue-in-cheek autobiography, several minor film roles (most notably her role in the horror film House of Wax in 2005), her 2006 music album Paris, and her work in modeling.
In recent years Hilton is perhaps most known for starring in a number of her own produced reality shows such as Paris Hilton's My New BFF which was filmed in Los Angeles and aired in 2008 and which also resulted in a second season. The show proved to be a success and was branched out to Paris Hilton's British Best Friend filmed in London, UK and Paris Hilton’s Dubai BFF filmed in Dubai in the UAE. All seasons were broadcasted on MTV. In 2011, Oxygen Channel gave the go-ahead to air Hilton's reality series The World According to Paris following Hilton's everyday life.
As a result of several legal incidents, Hilton served a widely publicized sentence in a Los Angeles County jail in 2007. She is an example of the modern phenomenon of the 'celebutante', the celebrity who rises to fame not because of their talent or work but because of their inherited wealth and controversial lifestyle.
2001–present: As a modelHilton began modeling as a child, initially at charity events. When she was 19, she signed with Donald Trump's modeling agency, T Management. Hilton has also worked with Ford Models 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 socialite, being identified as "New York's leading It Girl" whose fame was beginning to "extend beyond the New York tabloids". She has appeared in several magazines, including the April 2004 issue of Maxim. She also made an uncredited appearance in the Brüno segment in the "Law and Order" episode of the HBO series of Da Ali G Show.
Hilton loves small dogs, and lives with a Yorkshire Terrier and a female Chihuahua named Tinkerbell among many other pets. Hilton is 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. In 2004, Tinkerbell "authored" a memoir, The Tinkerbell Hilton Diaries. On August 12, 2004, Tinkerbell went missing after Hilton's apartment was burgled, and a $5,000 reward was offered for her safe return. She was found six days later. By December 1, 2004, Tinkerbell was again spotted with Hilton at various events. Hilton has also purchased a male Chihuahua on July 25, 2007 from Pets of Bel Air in Los Angeles. Hilton's love for man's best friend led her to create an apparel line for dogs called Little Lily by Paris Hilton, with some of the proceeds going to benefit animal rescue. "I have 17 dogs and I like to dress them, so I started designing this clothing line and it's really cute, like dresses and jeans — everything you can imagine for humans, but for dogs," she said in an interview during Super Bowl XLII festivities. Hilton's love for her dogs led to the rumor that she wanted to be frozen with them at the Cryonics Institute, but Hilton denied the rumor on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
On January 22, 2007, Hilton's private life was thrust into the media spotlight with the launch of ParisExposed.com, a website that features 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 website began charging online access to this material and received 1.2 million visitors in just over 40 hours. Among the contents were medications, diaries, photographs, contracts and love letters, as well as a video of her shot by Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild. On February 3, 2007 Hilton obtained a temporary injunction against ParisExposed.com, closing down the website.
On February 5, 2007, CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 discussed footage obtained from the ParisExposed.com website which features Hilton using the ethnic slurs "niggers", "chink", "Jappy" and the derogatory term "faggot".
In an interview with Larry King on June 28, 2007, Hilton stated that she is a practicing Roman Catholic, adding that after serving time in jail she started reading the Bible again and goes to mass on a regular basis.
Sex tapeA homemade sex video of Hilton and then-boyfriend Rick Salomon was leaked on the Internet in 2003, later released as the DVD 1 Night in Paris despite attempted legal action. It appeared a week prior to the premiere of The Simple Life.
Bling Ring burglariesHilton was burglarized at least five times by the Bling Ring. In most cases they were only after cash and clothes. However, during their final burglary of her home, a participant usually not present as a member of the group stole around $2 million in jewelry from her, carrying it out in one of her Louis Vuitton bags. It was only after this theft that she informed police of having been burglarized.
HeiressIn December 2007, Hilton's grandfather, Barron Hilton, pledged 97 percent of his estate (the Hilton family fortune) to a charitable organization founded by his father, Conrad N. Hilton, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. As a result, the inheritance of his grandchildren is sharply diminished. An immediate pledge of $1.2 billion was made (the proceeds of the sale of Hilton Hotels Corporation), with a further $1.1 billion due after his death. He cited the actions of his father, Conrad N. Hilton, as the motivation for his pledge. Conrad, Barron's father, had left 97% of his estate to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundaton and Barron subsequently contested his father's will to win back a sizeable amount of the Hilton family fortune in a settlement. By leaving his estate to the Foundation, Barron is donating not only the fortune he has amassed on his own, but he is also returning the Hilton family fortune amassed by his father, Conrad, to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, where it would have gone over 30 years ago had Barron not contested his father's will. Barron said he is proud to follow his father's example.
In September 2006, Hilton was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content of 0.08%, the level at which it is illegal to drive in California. Hilton's driving license was subsequently suspended in November 2006, and in January 2007 she pleaded no contest to a reckless driving charge. Her punishment was 36 months' probation and fines of about $1,500.
On January 15, 2007, Hilton was pulled over for driving with a suspended license and signed a document acknowledging that she was not permitted to drive.
On February 27, 2007 Hilton was caught driving 70 mph in a 35 mph zone, again 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. Initially, Hilton planned to appeal the sentence, and supported an online petition asking California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for a pardon. The petition was created and organized on May 5, 2007 by Joshua Morales. In response, various opponents started a counter-petition to maintain the sentence. Both petitions attracted tens of thousands of signatures. Hilton later switched lawyers and dropped her plans to appeal.
Hilton was required to begin her jail term on June 5, 2007, and checked herself into the Century Regional Detention Facility, an all-female jail in Lynwood, California after attending the 2007 MTV Movie Awards on June 3, 2007. However Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca signed orders on June 7, reassigning Hilton to 40 days of home confinement with an electronic monitoring device due to an unspecified medical condition. Baca commented on the release saying, "My message to those who don't like celebrities is that punishing celebrities more than the average American is not justice," contesting that under normal circumstances, Hilton would not have served any time in jail, and he added that "The special treatment, in a sense, appears to be because of her celebrity status ... She got more time in jail". On the same day that Hilton was released from jail, Judge Michael Sauer summoned her to reappear in court the following morning (June 8) as the sentencing statement had explicitly said she would serve time in jail with "No work furlough. No work release. No electronic monitoring." At the hearing he declined to be briefed by Hilton's attorney in private chambers on the nature of her condition and sent her back to jail to serve out her original 45-day sentence. Upon hearing the sentence, Hilton shouted, "It's not right!" and started screaming, requesting to hug her mother who was present in the courtroom. Concern about Hilton's condition led to her being moved to the medical wing of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles, and she was moved back to the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood on June 13.
While in jail, Hilton was influenced by the clergyman minister Marty Angelo: Hilton referred to starting a "new beginning" during her interview with talk show host Larry King on June 28, 2007, two days after being released from jail, and quoted from Angelo's autobiography, entitled Once Life Matters: A New Beginning. On June 9, 2007, Marty Angelo petitioned Sauer, asking to serve out the remainder of Hilton's jail sentence if the judge would release her to an alternative treatment program, but the petition was turned down.
On July 2, 2010, Hilton was accused of smoking marijuana at the 2010 FIFA World Cup game between Brazil and the Netherlands. She was escorted from the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium by local police, however the case was later dismissed for unknown reasons. Hilton's publicist, Dawn Miller, stated "I can confirm that the incident was a complete misunderstanding and it was actually another person in the group who did it".
On July 17, 2010, Hilton was detained and released after being caught in possession of cannabis at Figari airport, Corsica.
On August 28, 2010 she was arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession in Las Vegas. Initially her defence claimed that the handbag containing 0.8g of cocaine was not hers as "This purse in question was a high street brand – and by no means up to her high fashion standards.". Later she claimed some of the personal items (like cash and credit cards) from the bag acknowledging it was hers.
In order to avoid being convicted on felony, Hilton pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors on September 17, 2010. Under the terms of the plea bargain, she was sentenced to one year probation, 200 hours community service, $2,000 fine and ordered to complete a drug abuse program. Clark County District Attorney David Roger said that: "If she is 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."
On September 21, 2010, while travelling to a press conference in Tokyo to promote fashion and fragrance lines, Hilton and her sister Nicky were stopped by immigration officers at Narita Airport, Japan because of Hilton's conviction for drug possession a day earlier. Under Japan's strict anti-drug laws, all people sentenced for any drug crime are in general denied entry. Narita officials questioned Hilton "for hours" and Hilton and her sister were forced to sleep over at the airport-hotel. On September 22, Japanese authorities decided not to grant Hilton entry into the country and she was put on a plane back to the U.S. the same day. Other stops on their Asian promotion tour were cancelled, as countries like Indonesia and Malaysia have even tougher anti-drug laws.[