Paris Hilton opens up to Marie Claire magazine about her tumultuous early days in the spotlight and the sex scandal that both catapulted her to superstardom and (she now says) ruined her life forever. Although she is now “a hotelier, an international lifestyle brand whose fragrances have made approximately $3 billion worldwide, and DJ who earns upwards of a million dollars per set” –she manages to still comes off as surprisingly vulnerable when talking about the almost 15-year-old scandal.
From Marie Claire:
…You’ll remember that weeks before The Simple Life’s debut, her sex tape hit the Internet—but you probably don’t remember that she says she never consented to the tape’s being public; that she was only 18 and her then-boyfriend, Rick Salomon, was 33; or that she sued the company distributing it for invasion of privacy. (Salomon sued the Hilton family for defamation, accusing them of “a cold, calculated, and malicious campaign to portray Salomon as a rapist.” Both cases were reportedly settled out of court, and the terms were never made public.)
Sure, the tape made her more famous, but she denies she participated in the video’s release for fame or profit; according to TMZ, Salomon reportedly earned $10 million from the tape in the first year. “That’s one thing that really pisses me off when I hear it, because I never, ever received one dollar from that video,” she says. “That is the last thing that I would want out there.”
It’s dark in the armored car, but not so dark that I can’t see that tears have welled up in her eyes. “It’s really hurtful, because my whole life I really looked up to Princess Diana, all these elegant, amazing women, and I feel like [Salomon] just took that all away from me,” she says. “I could have been like that, but because of that tape, I will always be judged and thought of as whatever they say about me because of a private moment between my boyfriend and me. I wish I had never met him. That is actually the one regret in my life. I wish that I had never met that guy. I could not leave my house for months. I was so depressed, humiliated. I didn’t want to be seen in public.”
There’s a bunch of other stuff in the article where she talks about her old chum Donald Trump that makes for a number of ARRRRGH moments, but as Jezebel points out, as a whole it…
…does a good job of reflecting who Hilton actually is: A savvy business woman and shameless self-promoter who seems (voluntarily) locked in the prison of her own brand. That doesn’t exactly paint a likable portrait (though she does come off as nice), but at least she’s not as bad as Rick Salomon, a grown man who used a sex tape of his 18-year-old girlfriend to make money, get attention, then disappear into obscurity.
Read IRIN CARMON’s piece it in its entirety here.
(via Jezebel. Photo: Pacific Coast News)