Paris Hilton has an interesting take on her famous sex tape nearly two decades later. Hilton, 38, sat down with the Los Angeles Times for a profile that looked at how she was Hollywood's original influencer, and the socialite-turned-businesswoman said the public shaming she went through in 2004 (and beyond) wouldn't happen in today's #MeToo era.
"Thank God," declared Hilton. "Back then, people were acting like I was the bad person or the villain … Today, if that happened, whoever did that to the person would be [vilified]."
The infamous sex tape was made with her former boyfriend Rick Salomon and was meant to be private. "It’s not something that I would ever want to be known for," she explained.
In the 2018 Netflix documentary American Meme, Hilton revealed the scandal made her contemplate suicide. She was terrified to leave her house and mourned what the tape stole from her. "I would never be who I could have been," she said in the film. The DJ and entrepreneur expanded on that further.
"As a little girl, I always looked up to Princess Diana and women like that who I respected so much," Hilton told the Times. "And I felt that when that man put out that tape, it basically took that away from me because, for the rest of my life, people are going to judge me and think of me in a certain way just because of a private moment with someone that [I] trusted and loved."
Hilton has been filming her own documentary, which will be released on YouTube in early 2020.
"I now feel comfortable enough with myself to tell my story. I wasn’t really before," she revealed.
It wasn't just a sex tape Hilton made headlines for in the early aughts. There was a DUI, a jail sentence stemming from that DUI, high-profile romances and much more that secured Hilton as front-page tabloid fodder. The perfume mogul explained she was taught to take the high road when it came to public narratives about her all those years ago.
"My mom and my dad always told me, 'Never dignify something with a response.' Back then, there was no social media. So I couldn’t just go on there [and set the record straight] … I never stuck up for myself or said anything because my parents said, 'You’re just going to draw more attention to something. Even if it’s a lie, just don’t pay attention to it. Your family and your friends know the real you,'" she recalled.
Since ending her engagement to The Leftovers actor Chris Zylka last year, Hilton is single and has spent the last year soul searching.
"I’m getting to know myself better and am becoming more confident," she shared. "I’ve always been such a people pleaser — always saying ‘Yes’ to everything and I’ve [recently] learned the power of ‘No.’ When you let people in and you’re nice, you’re going to attract certain people who don’t have the right intentions or just want to use you. So I’ve learned to make my circle of people I trust smaller instead of trusting and letting everybody in. I just don’t let that type of negative energy around me anymore. It’s toxic. I only want good people around me who have big hearts who love me for me."
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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