Paris Hilton Says Older Ex ‘Kept Pushing’ for Her to Make Infamous Sex Tape at 19

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Paris Hilton has been reclaiming the larger narrative around her life in recent years — first as she released her 2020 documentary This is Paris and now with her forthcoming memoir Paris: The Memoir dropping on March 14. She unsurprisingly had a lot of lore to dig into, but one stand-out moment came in a recent excerpt published in U.K. publication The Times detailing the traumatic reality around the release of her now-infamous early-2000s sex tape.

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To start, Hilton was still a teenager at the time (19) when the tape was made — and was involved with an older man, Rick Salomon, who was 31. She said that making the tape wasn’t something she wanted but instead was something she felt pressured to do in order to keep her relationship.

She said that her ex, who she did not name, “kept pushing” despite her not being about being filmed (fair!) but eventually said she agreed because she “wanted to feel like a woman who’s comfortable in her own skin.”

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“He told me if I wouldn’t do it, he could easily find someone who would, and that was the worst thing I could think of — to be dumped by this grown man because I was a stupid kid who didn’t know how to play grown-up games,” Hilton wrote. She said she also used alcohol and Quaaludes to try and get herself to a place where she could go through with it.

“I needed to prove something to him and to myself, so I got hammered, and I did it.”

If that experience of feeling coerced at such a young age wasn’t enough, the tape leaking online in 2003 and Salomon’s plans to release it officially without her consent brought the trauma and shame she experienced right back around.

“It took me a minute to make the connection to that private video,” Hilton writes. “I had to close my eyes and breathe. I felt like I was going to throw up. It was inconceivable to me.”

And though she reached out to her ex to try and stop the release of the tape, he told her that the “financial value” of the tape superseded her consent, comfort or bodily autonomy.

“[The tape had] More value than my privacy, obviously. My dignity. My future. Shame, loss and stark terror swept over me,” Hilton said, noting that the tape’s release had a heavy effect on her whole family as the world participated in some particularly cruel early-aughts sex-shaming. “The world thinks of me as a sex symbol, and I’m here for that, because symbol literally means icon. But when people saw that sex tape, they didn’t say ‘icon, they said slut.’ They said ‘whore.’ And they weren’t shy about it.”

With years of perspective on her side, Hilton seems able to make sense of those era-specific attitudes about sex and relationship power dynamics and how vulnerable and young she was when she was betrayed by someone she wanted to trust.

And she acknowledges that if she’d been able to consensually make a sex-oriented brand decision for herself things might’ve been totally different: “If this was something I had chosen to do, I would have owned it … I would have stood by it, capitalized on it, licensed the shit out of every frame, and then boogied on over to the bank without apologizing to anyone.”

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, coercion, harassment or violence, or revenge porn you can get help. To speak with someone who is trained to help with these situations, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at

Before you go, check out the best and most affordable mental health apps we swear by:


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