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They say everything old is new again, time is a flat circle, and the same issue will appear over and over until it’s resolved. Which must explain why Paris Hilton is once again in the news for saying something ignorant and insensitive.
Hilton caused a furor earlier this week when journalist Irin Camron, who’d interviewed the hotel heiress for a profile in Marie Claire, shared some comments that didn’t make the final article. Camron asked her how she felt knowing that Trump, a family friend, had watched her sex tape. (“He’s always been so respectful,” she said.) Hilton was also asked about what she thought of Trump’s famous “grab ’em by the pussy” comment. (“I’ve heard guys say some pretty crazy things,” she replied. “Like, worse than that.”)
But when Camron asked the heiress about the boatload of women who levied claims of assault against our current POTUS, Hilton said, “I think that they are just trying to get attention and fame,” labeling the women as “opportunists” who want to “get money or get paid to not say anything or get a settlement when nothing really happened.”
Cue the outrage — and rightfully so. As Hilton played into the familiar tropes that dog women brave enough to stand up to men in power who abuse that power, the Internet called her out for her ignorance, prompting Hilton to issue an apology … though it’s not really much of an apology.
“I want to apologize for my comments from an interview I did last year,” Hilton said in a statement about those comments, which she gave two days after Trump was elected in November 2016. “They were part of a much larger story and I am regretful that they were not delivered in the way I had intended.
“I was speaking about my own experiences in life and the role of media and fame in our society and it was never my intention for my comments to be misapplied almost a year later. I always believe in helping women have their voices heard and helping create an environment where women feel empowered and believe in themselves.
“I am deeply hurt by how this has played out and also deeply sorry. Moving forward I will continue to do what I can to be an advocate for girls and women with the hopes of providing a louder voice for those who may desperately need it.”
We’re not sure how those comments could be taken out of context, or sound better as part of a larger story. But this is par for the course with Hilton and her apologies.
Here are some of her other most famous walk-backs:
When she apologized for making homophobic comments.
In 2012, a New York cab driver recorded a conversation Hilton was having with a friend where she said, among other things, “Gay guys are the horniest people in the world … they’re disgusting. Dude, most of them probably have AIDS.”
The backlash was swift, and Hilton responded quickly, issuing a statement to GLAAD. After stating that her conversation was private and not indicative of what she thought of the gay community, she said, “I cannot put into words how much I wish I could take back every word. HIV/AIDS can hurt anyone, gay and straight, men and women. It’s something I take very seriously and should not have been thrown around in conversation.”
She also called the gay community “the strongest and most inspiring people I know” and begged for forgiveness, reiterating that her comments weren’t an accurate representation of who she is.
When she apologized for using racial slurs.
Claims of Hilton’s racism have been documented throughout the years. In 2006, former friend Brandon Davis reportedly told the Enquirer that Hilton routinely uses the N word, puts down minorities, and makes anti-Semitic remarks.
“Anyone who knows me knows that this is not me. I love everybody and am not a person who discriminates against anyone — ever.”
Years earlier, in an an interview with journalist Neil Strauss, the then 18-year-old Hilton allegedly said she found black men to be “gross,” adding, “I can’t stand black guys. I would never touch one.”
The incident gained steam with the release of Strauss’s 2011 book, Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead, featuring a collection of interview snippets that never made final publication. Hilton’s reps responded, “These allegations are absolutely untrue and ridiculous. We have sent these claims to Miss Hilton’s lawyers to respond further. It’s another example of someone making false claims for financial gain.”
And then in 2007, there was the video of Hilton dancing to Notorious B.I.G., where she tells her sister, “We’re like two n*****s.” The backlash was enough to prompt the following statement from her then publicist, Eliot Mintz: “Each of us has used words we have regretted later. This was six years ago. She was 20 at the time. It was New Year’s Eve. She had been obviously drinking. She sincerely regrets using those words. She is not a racist or an anti-Semite.”
She also used a racial slur in her infamous sex tape, and while we never got an “I’m sorry” for that, we did get an exceptional skit from Saturday Night Live featuring Maya Rudolph as Hilton and Jude Law as Nicky, apologizing for using the slur, and proving her lack of racism by listing black men she found hot.
When she (sort of) apologized to animal rights activists from the United Nations.
Hilton drew ire for different reasons when she posted a video on Instagram in 2014, featuring her cuddling with an orangutan named Dior, cooing, “She’s the cutest little girl in the world.” This didn’t make the U.N.’s Great Apes Survival Partnership very happy. “Great apes are neither playthings nor pets,” GRASP wrote, “and Ms. Hilton’s lack of perspective is appalling.”
In 2016, while at the 10th annual Delete Blood Cancer DKMS Gala Mary 5 in New York, Hilton responded, when she told People magazine that she agreed, “with what they’re saying.” She added, “I’m an animal lover. I have friends who actually rescue [captive] animals from these places and they can’t be put back in the wild. So these are animals that have actually been rescued. I just did it because I love animals.”
When she apologized to Kim Kardashian for throwing shade.
OK, so maybe it’s not earth-shattering and socially unconscious, but it was still a moment of girl-on-girl crime when Hilton took aim at her frenemy Kim Kardashian while on a Las Vegas radio show. It was there that she told the hosts “I would not want [Kim’s butt] — it’s gross! It reminds me of cottage cheese inside a big trash bag.”
But Hilton apologized to Kardashian, telling In Touch Weekly, “I was just joking around and I made a stupid joke. I felt really bad afterward, so I contacted Kim and apologized. It was a silly thing to say. Kim’s hot!” With friends like these…
Maybe it’s time for Hilton to do less apologizing, and more self-reflection to undo all the programming that led her to say these things in the first place.
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