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NBC and Paris Hilton deny $1 million post-jail interview deal report


By Christopher Rocchio, 06/22/2007 

Paris Hilton and NBC have denied a report that the network had agreed to pay Hilton "as much as $1 million" for The Simple Life star's first interview when she's released from jail next week.

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"NBC News does not pay for interviews," NBC News spokeswoman Allison Gollust, who wouldn't confirm or deny "any interview would take place," told The New York Times in a report published Friday.  "Never have, never will."

The 26-year-old reality star, hotel heiress and socialite is currently being held in Los Angeles' Century Regional Detention Center and serving the remainder of her 45-day sentence that resulted from parole violations of a September 2006 drunken driving conviction.

Hilton's previously reported $1 million NBC agreement for a sit-down interview with Today co-host Meredith Vieira was allegedly born out of a conversation her father Rick had with NBC Universal boss Jeff Zucker, who apparently swooped in and stole the first post-prison interview from ABC's The View host Barbara Walters.  During Hilton's first weekend in jail, Walters conducted a phone interview with The Simple Life star and described what they discussed in detail during the June 11 broadcast of The View.

ABC might have been unwilling to make a "high six-figure deal" with Hilton and her family, according to The Times, but the network had reportedly made a $100,000 offer that technically wouldn't have been for an interview, with the monetary exchange happening for access to "materials owned by the family," such as photos and videos.  After receiving ABC's offer last Sunday, The Times reported Walters told ABC executives she received a call from Rick on Wednesday telling her the interview was going to a competitor because "nobody turns down money like this."

"[At $100,000, ABC was] not even in the same galaxy [in terms of what was reportedly being offered by NBC]," Rick allegedly told Walters, according to The Times.

Despite ABC's account of the way things went down, a Hilton representative told The Times on Thursday night that the family "had not received nor requested any payment for an interview with Paris."

"Contrary to media reports, Paris Hilton is not being paid for any television interview nor is Paris Hilton being paid for any collateral material, including videos or photos," the family's crisis manager Michael Sitrick told The Times in a statement.

With specifics about The Simple Life star's first post-prison interview murky , Hilton's apparently doing plenty of talking while still in the slammer.

(Photo credit Fox)


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