Paris Hilton (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Paris Whitney Hilton (born February 17, 1981) is an American heiress, socialite, television personality, businesswoman, fashion designer, entrepreneur, model, actress, producer, author and singer. She is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels. Born in New York City and raised in both California and New York, Hilton began a modeling career as a teenager when she signed with Donald Trump's modeling agency, T Management. Her hard-partying lifestyle and rumoured short-lived relationships with Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar de la Hoya led her to earn a position as a fixture in entertainment news. For her notoriety as a socialite, Hilton was hailed by the media as "New York's leading It Girl" in 2001.
Hilton gained significant notoriety for a sex tape, which was released shortly before the premiere of the reality series The Simple Life (2003), which was a huge success and brought Hilton and co-star Nicole Richie to an international recognition. Hilton then released her 2004 autobiography Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose, landed a supporting role in the 2005 horror film House of Wax, and recorded the 2006 music album Paris. She later starred in the series Paris Hilton's My New BFF (2008) and its two spin-offs, Paris Hilton's British Best Friend (2009) and Paris Hilton"s Dubai BFF (2009). Hilton has since done a voice role in the TV movie The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation (2010) and appeared in the reality show The World According to Paris (2011).
She has appeared in several lists compiled by magazines such as Maxim, FHM as well as Stuff. She is also regularly placed on lists composed by Forbes magazine and was named one of the "100 Hottest Women of All-Time" by Men's Health. Critics also suggest that Hilton epitomizes the title of famous for being famous; 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. In recent years, she has parlayed her media fame into a fashion line and various perfumes with her celebrity endorsement " her fragrances have reportedly earned $1.5 billion. Currently, there are 42 Paris Hilton Stores worldwide and her brand includes perfumes, handbags, watches, footwear, among other products. Hilton earns over $10 million a year from her products sales and as of 2005 she was paid $300,000 for appearances in clubs and events. Her net worth is estimated to be $100 million as of 2012.
Life and career
1981-2002: Early life and career beginnings
Hilton was born in New York City, New York. Her mother, Kathy Hilton (née Kathleen Elizabeth Avanzino), is a socialite and former actress, and her father, Richard Howard "Rick" Hilton, is a businessman. She is the oldest of four children: she has one sister, Nicholai Olivia "Nicky" Hilton (born 1983), and two brothers, Barron Nicholas Hilton II (born 1989) and Conrad Hughes Hilton III (born 1994). Her paternal great-grandfather was Conrad Hilton, who founded the Hilton Hotels. She is of Norwegian, German, Italian (from a maternal great-grandfather), English, and Irish ancestry. She is a half-niece of two child stars of the 1970s, Kim and Kyle Richards.
She was raised Roman Catholic and still attends Mass. Hilton moved between numerous exclusive homes in her youth, including a suite in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, Beverly Hills, and the Hamptons. As a child she was good friends with other socialites, including Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian.
Growing up in Los Angeles, Hilton attended the Buckley School and the exclusive St. Paul the Apostle Church and School, where she graduated in 1995. She then attended her freshman year of high school at the Marywood-Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage, California from 1995-1996. In 1996, when Hilton was 14 years old, her family moved to the East Coast. In New York, she briefly attended Convent of the Sacred Heart (while Lady Gaga was a student there) in 1996 before transferring again to the Dwight School. At 16, Hilton spent one year at the Provo Canyon School, a school for emotionally troubled teens. She then attended the Canterbury Boarding School, in New Milford, Connecticut from the fall of 1998 to February 1999 for her junior year, where she was a member of the ice hockey team. In February 1999, the month she turned 18, she was expelled from Canterbury for violating school rules. After being expelled from Canterbury, she returned to the Dwight School before dropping out a few months later as a high school junior. She later earned her GED.
Hilton began modeling as a child, initially at charity events. When she was 19, she signed with Donald Trump's modeling agency, T Management. Hilton stated that while she "wanted to model," Trump was wishing to have her at his agency, and after she signed she was "loving" the work. While working as a model, she was becoming a daily fixture in entertainment news for her heavy partying; according to Vanity Fair, Cisco Adler, producer of Sweetie Pie (where Hilton acted in) stated that she was "a young party girl who gets sucked into the L.A. party scene and grew up a little too fast". In 2001, Hilton developed 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". Around that time, she made a cameo appearance in Zoolander and was on several magazine covers such as UK's Tatler, Italy's Giola and USA's Vanity Fair and FHM. In 2002, she was one of the leads in the straight-to-video horror movie Nine Lives. Beyondhollywood.com felt that "Hilton"s presence in the cast is the film"s main marketing point, which is plainly obvious by the fact that she"s front and center on the box art and is the only recognizable name in the cast" and also noted that her character was basically herself: "Hilton plays " what else? " a spoiled American socialite who shops on three continents in one day. The script is even clever enough to take a few jabs at Hilton"s real-life social standing, even mentioning that she"s been on the cover of a few sleaze rags in her day". In that year, she became engaged to fashion model Jason Shaw but they broke up in early 2003.
2003-05: The Simple Life and breakthrough
Hilton's breakout role came in 2003, when she co-starred with socialite counterpart Nicole Richie in the Fox reality series The Simple Life, which premiered on December 2, 2003, shortly after Hilton's sex tape was released. The show started airing to surprisingly well received ratings; the premiere episode drew 13,000,000 viewers, increasing Fox's Adults 18-49 rating a phenomenal 79%. "Everyone likes it because it's for all ages. People from the city will be like, 'Oh my God, I cannot believe you did that,' and people from the country think it's funny because they do it every day", Hilton said about the reason why the show was successful. At that time, she started to be recognizable for her onscreen dumb blonde persona in reality television. According to UK's Now magazine, in a 2009 interview she said that "For five seasons I was stuck doing this character. It was kind of hard always having to play that character when it's not who I am". In a January 2011 interview with Movieline, she remarked: "In The Simple Life, producers told me to play a dumb blonde and that's what I did. I didn't realize at the time that I'd have to do that for five seasons and keep up this character of me. I think people assume that that is how I am in real life but I'm actually quite a businesswoman". The year the show premiered, she started a relationship with singer Nick Carter, which lasted until 2004.
Hilton launched a lifestyle brand in 2004. She helped design a collection of purses for Japanese label Samantha Thavasa. The 10-piece line collection, a jewelry line designed by Hilton, started being on sale on Amazon.com. "I grew up surrounded by the finest fashion and jewelry designs, and I really wanted to create a line that was beautiful and very high quality, yet affordable and available to everyone," Hilton stated. "This jewelry is for the heiress in everyone." The line was described as "inspired by Hilton's personal style - feminine, flirtatious and glamorous - with heart, star and cross motifs." 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 her advice on life as an heiress. She mentioned in the book she was looking for a simpler life: "I don't always want the glamorous, jet-set life," she wrote. "Someday soon, I want to have children and a big house with a lot of animals - like my parents had". The book was in the New York Times bestseller list, ranking at seven. The quote "Dress cute wherever you go; life is too short to blend in", which appeared in the book was added to The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations in September 2009. She was involved in the creation of a perfume line by Parlux Fragrances. Originally set to be a small release, high demand led to a wider release before December 2004. The launch was followed by a 47% increase in sales of Parlux products, predominantly due to sales of the Hilton-branded perfume. After the success of Hilton's perfume, Parlux Fragrances released several more perfumes with her name, including fragrances for men. Hilton released her second book called Your Heiress Diary: Confess It All to Me in 2005 and also in that year, she launched her second fragrance Just Me.
After Hilton hosted Saturday Night Live with musical guest, band Keane in February 2005, she got her first major role in the horror thriller film House of Wax, in which Elisha Cuthbert and Chad Michael Murray also starred. The movie, after being first screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, opened in May 2005, receiving mixed reviews. Giving a positive review for her performance, Matthew Turner for the View London said that Hilton "does better than you might expect". But while MTV felt that she was "actually pretty good", TV Guide called Hilton "talentless". Her role as Paige Edwards won the Teen Choice Award for "Best Scream" and earned her a nomination for "Choice Breakout Performance - Female". (It also won her the 2005 Razzie for "Worst Supporting Actress" at the 2005 Golden Raspberry Awards.) She also earned a nomination for "Best Frightened Performance" at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards. House of Wax grossed over $70,000,000. From May to October of that year, she was engaged to Greek shipping heir Paris Latsis.
The Simple Life, which ran for three seasons on FOX, was cancelled after a dispute between Hilton and Richie in 2005. Hilton commented: "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." Neither Richie nor Hilton spoke publicly about the cause of the split, though it was speculated that the pair fell out due to Richie showing one of Hilton's homemade sex tapes to a group of their friends. They renewed their friendship in October 2006.
2006-07: Paris, films and arrests
After The Simple Life was cancelled by FOX in 2005, other networks, such as NBC, The WB, VH1 and MTV were all reported to be interested in obtaining the rights to air new seasons of the show. On November 28, 2005, E! announced that they had picked up The Simple Life and had ordered production go ahead on the fourth season, along with the rights to re-air the first three seasons. Shooting for the new season began February 27, 2006. The premiere of the fourth season brought high ratings for the network with 1.3 viewers. She released her self-titled debut album, Paris, under the label on August 22, 2006. The album reached number six on the Billboard 200 for a week and sold over 600,000 copies worldwide The first single "Stars Are Blind" was a massive success in the United States as it was played at more than 125 pop stations across the country. The song also was a hit worldwide; it was a top ten in 17 countries. Although The Guardian felt that Hilton sound "both distracted and bored stiff", Allmusic commented that the album was "more fun than anything released by Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson". As a whole, critical reception was mixed.
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. The arrest complicated the shooting of the fifth season of series. 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. The straight-to-DVD motion picture Bottoms Up was released in late 2006. The film came out with negative reviews; Australia's Urban Cinefile remarked that Hilton, as the lead role, "spends most of her screen time flicking her hair as she delivers lines like 'books are those things you read'". In December 2006, Pledge This!, film in which Hilton appeared and produced, premiered in a limited release before going directly to video. She missed the premiere of the movie at the Cannes Film Festival in protest to the addition of some nude scenes that were going to be included in the film. Hilton said, "I was so angry I snubbed my own premiere." In August 2008, Worldwide Entertainment Group Inc. sued Hilton in the Miami District Court, alleging she did not honor her contractual agreement to provide "reasonable promotion and publicity" for the film. It was reported she was paid $1,000,000 for her work.
On January 10, 2007, Hilton released the DreamCatchers line of hair extensions in partnership with Hair Tech International. 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. Hilton later obtained a temporary injunction against ParisExposed.com, closing down the website. Also in that month, Hilton was pulled over for driving with a suspended license and signed a document acknowledging that she was not permitted to drive. The following month, 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, 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, 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. 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 the same show, she revealed taking Adderall for ADHD since childhood. After Hilton faced time in jail, The Simple Life finished its run at the end of the fifth season in July 2007. In early August 2007, Hilton signed a licensing agreement with Antebi for a signature footwear line, "Paris Hilton Footwear", featuring stilettos, platforms, flats, wedges, and a sports collection, expected to reach stores in 2008. In mid August 2007, Hilton launched a line of tops, dresses, coats, and jeans at the Kitson Boutique in Los Angeles. She felt the event was "a dream come true" and described the clothing line as " fun, bright and flashy". In December 2007, Hilton posed nude, covered in gold paint, to promote "Rich Prosecco", a canned version of an Italian sparkling wine. She also traveled to Germany to promote the drink, appearing in various print ads for the product.
Around that time, Hilton's grandfather, Barron Hilton, pledged 97% of his estate (the Hilton family fortune) to a charitable organization founded by their great-grandfather, 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 Foundation 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 stated he is proud to follow his father's example. Also in 2007, Hilton modeled for 2 be free and her fourth perfume came out, called Can Can.
2008-09: Focus on acting and My New BFF shows
Hilton's love for dogs 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. In April 2008, she guest starred on the My Name is Earl episode "I Won't Die with a Little Help from My Friends". On August 6, 2008, Hilton appeared in a video online, Paris Hilton Responds to McCain Ad, directed by Adam McKay and posted on the Funny or Die website. The video featured Hilton in a parody advertisement, and was made in response to a television campaign advert Celeb, by the 2008 John McCain presidential campaign. In Celeb, McCain briefly compared his rival Barack Obama to that of celebrities such as Hilton and Britney Spears, going on to question his readiness to lead and criticize his energy policy. In what The Washington Post opined "might just be her best acting role yet," Hilton appears in the video wearing a leopard print swimsuit. The video received seven million views in two days garnering worldwide press coverage, and drew both written and verbal media response from both campaigns. In October Hilton featured in a second parody video posted on Funny or Die, Paris Hilton Gets Presidential with Martin Sheen, alongside Hollywood actor Martin Sheen, with his son, actor Charlie Sheen, appearing in a cameo role. Hilton, heavily made up and in a green evening dress, interviews Martin Sheen in a kitchen, discussing various political issues, seeking his advice from his days playing a fictional President on The West Wing.
A the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, it was screened a documentary about Hilton called Paris, Not France. "I think there's a lot of misconceptions in the media. This movie is very personal. It's kind of like a diary", she said about the motion picture. Hilton admitted that when she talked with the movie director Adria Petty, she "broke it down to her and talked about things that have never been spoken about before, and people will learn a lot from that". It is shown in the documentary how she felt about the way the media had portrayed her: "I'm basically being judged, and they're creating this false person, and I can't do anything about it". Petty, during the premiere at the festival remarked that Hilton has "created a mystery about herself that a film like this maybe wouldn't have been a great thing for her in the past. But now, she's been so saturated in the media. We're so used to her. To see a new side of her is so exciting". Later, in 2009, the film was aired in July for MTV.
Hilton starred in an MTV reality series titled Paris Hilton's My New BFF, about her search for a new best friend. The series premiered on September 30, 2008. That day, Hilton released her song "My BFF" on KIIS-FM with host Ryan Seacrest. It was the theme song for the BFF show . The series proved to be a hit; it was watched in its premiere episode by 1,200,000 viewers and averaged a 1.6 rating among spectators 12-34 in its Tuesday 10 p.m slot, topping all other cable shows in the hour. Hilton's next project was the goth/rock musical with a cult film following, Repo! The Genetic Opera, where she played the character of Amber Sweet, the surgery- and painkiller-addicted daughter of a biotech magnate. Horror.com said: " Not only is this by far Hilton's best role, she's actually got a grain of gravitas in the end". However, Jam! Movies called her a "hopeless twit as an actress". She remarked that "Just getting a role like this offered to me was new to me because I always get offered a certain role just basically playing myself". She was nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress in 2009 for her role. The film, first screened at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con International, received a limited release in the United States and Canada on November 7, 2008. Around that time, Hilton released her fifth fragrance for women called, Fairy Dust and broke up with Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden, who she was in a relationship with since early that year.
As a result of the American version success, on January 29, 2009, Paris Hilton's British Best Friend, a spin-off, began airing on ITV2 in England. She began to film the show in October 2008. She said that she would not leave London until she could "find that amazing girl or guy who can meet the challenges of being" her "British bestie". She also felt that her friend had to be "hot", "can keep up" with her - it had to be somebody who "is real and won't be a backstabber". The show did quite well; it was watched by 428,000 viewers in its first episode and brought 605,000 viewers for its finale. The second season of Paris Hilton's My New BFF premiered on June 2, 2009. In that same month, Hilton shot Paris Hilton's Dubai BFF (which, after some complication, it was aired in 2011). Runner-up of the British series Kat McKenzie died on July 3, 2009, of a suspected overdose. Hilton guest-starred in the fifth episode of Supernatural's fifth season. "Paris Hilton is playing a demonic creature that takes the form of ... Paris Hilton," creator and executive producer Eric Kripke said in a statement. "It'll be a fun, irreverent episode and we here at Supernatural are thrilled that Paris agreed to do it." In July 2009, her sixth fragrance for women Siren was launched. She won the Female Celebrity Fragrance of the Year Award at the 2009 Fifi Awards. She got involved in the creation of a sunglasses line by Gripping Eyewear. She first launched the line on October 7, 2009 and the collection became available in stores in March 2010. The next month, she launched a Hair and Beauty Products line, which includes a range of shampoos, conditioners, and hair vitamins
Also in 2009, she began dating The Hills star Doug Reinhardt; Hilton referred to her intention to marry Reinhardt, saying "He's gonna be my husband." The couple broke up in June 2009, only to get back together again in August of the same year. However, on April 13, 2010, Hilton reportedly split from Reinhardt because she was worried he was just using her to further his career.
2010-11: Legal issues and reality television comeback
In February 2010, Hilton participated in an advertising campaign for the launch of the Brazilian beer Devassa Bem Loura, whose slogan in English roughly translates to "very blonde bitch". As part of the campaign, Hilton joined the brewery's float in the carnival of Rio de Janeiro. On July 2, Hilton was accused of smoking marijuana at the 2010 FIFA World Cup game between [[B