The daughter of Richard Hilton and the actress Kathy Richards, Paris Whitney is the oldest of four children. Together with her three siblings, Nicky, Barron Hilton II and Conrad Hilton III, she is heir to the considerable Hilton fortune which has been built on a successful real estate and hotel business.
Acting is in Paris’s blood. Not only is her mother an actress, she is also the niece of two popular child stars of the 1970s, Kim Richards and Kyle Richards, who featured in the movie, 'Escape to Witch Mountain' and TV shows such as 'Little House On The Prairie' and 'ER'. Paris is also related to the famous Hungarian actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, who was married to Paris’ great grandfather, Conrad Hilton. She is also distantly related to the famous movie star Elizabeth Taylor, who was briefly married to Paris Hilton’s great uncle, Conrad Nicholson Hilton Jr.
Paris was born with the proverbial “silver spoon in her mouth”, and spent her childhood moving between five-star luxury homes. These included a suite at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, New York, as well as mansions in exclusive Beverly Hills and the Hamptons. Paris attended her freshman year of high school at the Marywood-Palm Valley School in California, before continuing her studies at the Dwight School in New York.
Paris Hilton is no stranger to the limelight, and has been in the public eye since childhood. She began modeling as a child, initially at charitable functions. In 2000, she signed up with Donald Trump’s modeling agency, T Management. She also worked with other top agencies, including Ford Models Management in New York, and Model 1 Agency in London. She has fronted leading advertising campaigns such as Christian Dior and Tommy Hilfiger, and was soon christened “New York’s leading IT girl”.
Not content with her modeling career, Paris was anxious to make her debut in show business, with television likely to offer the best platform for her talents. In 2003, she teamed up with her long-time friend Nicole Richie to star in the 2003 Fox TV hit reality series, 'The Simple Life'. For the purposes of the programme, the two girls tried their hand at a variety of blue-collar jobs, and started out by living with a family on their farm in rural Arkansas. The series showed the girls hanging out with the local boys, working at their manual jobs, and performing all sorts of menial everyday tasks, which were clearly at odds with their luxurious upbringing and lifestyle! 'The Simple Life' was such a big hit that it was promptly followed by three more series, respectively subtitled: Road Trip, Interns and ‘Til Death Us Do Part.
Paris as also appeared in cameo and supporting roles in several feature films, including 'House Of Wax' (2005), 'The Hillz' (2004), 'Raising Helen' (2004) and 'Nine Lives' (2002). Paris’s small but significant role in 'House of Wax' won the Teen Choice Award for Best Scream, as well as nominations for Choice Breakout Award - Female, and Best Frightened Performance at the MTV Movie Awards in 2006. She has also made cameo appearances in 'The Cat in The Hat' (2003), 'Wonderland' (2003) and 'Win A Date With Tad Hamilton!' (2004).
She landed her first lead roles in the straight-to-DVD films 'National Lampoon's Pledge This' and 'Bottoms Up' in 2006. This was followed by a positively-acclaimed role in Goth/rock musical 'Repo! The Genetic Opera' in 2008. Paris sung and acted as the character Amber Sweet, a surgery and pain-killer addict.
The same year, she played the hottie in the box office flop 'The Hottie and the Nottie' before guest-starring in an episode of 'My Name is Earl'. She also produced and starred in a new reality show called 'Paris Hilton: My New BFF', which premiered in the US on 30 September 2008.
It made its UK debut on 29 January 2009 and ran for a second season before being cancelled. She appeared in the TV movie 'Rex' and played an ancient god in an episode of the fifth season of 'Supernatural'. Eric Kripke, Supernatural's creator and executive producer, said: "Paris Hilton is playing a demonic creature that takes the form of... Paris Hilton."
In 2010, she lent her voice to Bella in 'The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation', before the Oxygen Channel commissioned another reality show starring Paris. 'The World According to Paris' followed the heiress in her everyday life. After premiering in June 2011, it was cancelled due to low ratings.
Paris’ rise to fame has not been without its share of controversy. In 2004, she was the co-star of 'One Night in Paris', an unauthorized sex video, which she made with her former boyfriend Rick Salomon. Paris even received a director’s credit on the video, but she later sued Salomon for releasing the tape for sale on the internet. The couple eventually settled out of court. According to press reports, Paris received $400,000 from the video, but claimed she had never intended it to be a commercial venture and said she thought that Salomon should donate the proceeds to charity.
Paris has also appeared in several music videos, including Just Lose It by Eminem, It Girl by John Oates (of Hall & Oates) and Caught Up In The Rapture by Won-G with Giselle.
As well as her movie and TV career, Paris has a wide range of other business interests. In 2004, she founded Heiress Records, a sub-label of Warner Bros Records. So far, the label has only released her own record, Paris, but she claims that she will be signing other artists in the future. She began work on her album in 2004, and when it was released in August 2006, it entered the charts at number six. The album features a range of genres, including hip-hop, pop and reggae, together with the work of leading producers such as Greg Wells, Kara DioGuardi and Scott Storch. Her other business ventures include publishing, fashion and even mobile gaming.
In autumn 2004, Paris released a book entitled 'Confessions of An Heiress: A Tongue-in-Cheek Peek behind the Pose', which she wrote in conjunction with author Merle Ginsberg. The book is lavishly illustrated with pictures of Paris, and contains a string of hints on how to live like the rich and famous. It was reported that Paris received a $100,000 advance for the book, and it soon made its way into the New York Times bestseller list despite being panned by the critics. She followed it up with a sequel, also written with Merle Ginsberg, called 'Your Heiress Diary: Confess It All To Me', which encourages readers to note their goals, friends and family, boyfriends, and the celebrities they admire!
In May 2004, Paris unveiled her own brand of perfume in conjunction with Parlux Fragrances. “It’s really hot…I mixed all these scents together….it smells so good,” she revealed. Naturally, the perfume was destined to be called Paris Hilton. The perfume was so successful that the manufacturers decided to follow it up with a second Paris Hilton fragrance, called Just Me. A men’s fragrance, Heir by Paris Hilton has also been launched by Parlux.
Paris has also tried her hand at fashion, and helped design a collection of handbags for the Samantha Thavasa label in Tokyo. She has also helped launch a line of jewelry called The Paris Hilton Collection on Amazon.com. This was soon followed by a collection of watches, launched in November 2005 at the Tourneau store in New York. The 18-carat white gold and diamond-encrusted watches start at a mere $100,000.
Also in 2005, Paris launched her own chain of night-clubs, known as Club Paris. The first nightclub was opened in Orlando, Florida and has proved to be a great success. A second club was opened in Jacksonville, Florida and Paris is hoping to open further clubs in Las Vegas, New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and Cancun, Mexico.
Despite her flourishing media and business career, Paris’s personal life has been marked by controversy and scandal. In autumn 2006, she was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, although Paris claimed that she had only had one cocktail to drink, and that the high level of alcohol in her blood was due to the fact that she had not eaten all day. She is also reported to have told the arresting officers that she was speeding to get to a local burger restaurant so that she could eat! She was back in court a few months later, when the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office claimed that she had violated the terms of her probation by driving on a suspended license.
On May 4, 2007 Hilton was sentenced by Judge Michael T. Sauer to 45 days in jail for violating her probation. On June 3, 2007, after attending the 2007 MTV Movie Awards, Hilton reported to the Men's Central Jail of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles. From there, she was transferred by authorities to a special section "reserved for police officers, public officials, celebrities and other high-profile inmates" in Lynwood.
Three days later, LA County Sheriff Lee Baca signed orders reassigning Hilton to 40 days of home confinement with an electronic monitoring device due to an unspecified medical condition. However, the same day Hilton was released from jail, Judge Sauer ordered her to reappear back in his 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 lawyer 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. She was later moved to the medical wing of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility.
The socialite was finally released from jail on June 26, 2007. In total Hilton had served 22 days in detention, counting her day-long home confinement. She later described her experience as traumatic and pledged to cut down on her 'superficial' life of partying and use her fame to create a halfway house for her fellow inmates.
Paris Hilton has had quite a few ups and downs in her love-life too. She has been linked romantically with several high-profile men, including male fashion model Jason Shaw, to whom she was briefly engaged in 2002. In May 2005, she announced her engagement to Paris Latsis, the heir to a Greek shipping fortune. They split soon after and she began dating Stavros Niarchos III, who was also the heir to a Greek shipping dynasty. In July 2006, Hilton announced in the world’s press that she was going to remain celibate for one full year! “Every time I have a boyfriend, I’m just so romantic, and I put all my energy into the guy”, she told reporters. Inevitably she was snapped by the Hollywood paparazzi kissing Brandon Davis a short while later.
In early 2008, she was seen with Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden and declared her intention to marry him in May 2008. However, they broke up in November that year. Paris started an on/off relationship with 'The Hills' star Doug Reinhardt in February 2009 but this relationship permanently finished in April 2010. She then dated entrepreneur and nightclub owner Cy Waits until June 2011.
Paris endured her most famous public bust-up with longtime friend and TV co-star, Nicole Richie. In April 2005, amid media reports that their friendship was in trouble, Paris released a statement saying, “It‘s no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends.” But the reasons for the bust-up remained unclear. In 2006, Paris told a reporter that she and Nicole “grew apart because of fame” and added, “It’s hard to be friends with someone who doesn’t want good things for you.” Rumours abounded that Paris was jealous of Nicole’s rising fame; others speculated that a quarrel over a boyfriend was to blame.
However reconciliation was on the cards following an amusing incident in the summer of 2006 as escorts at a function tried their utmost to prevent the two stars from seeing each other, even though they were both taking part in the same public event. In October 2006, the two friends finally resolved their differences, and became good friends again.
In OK! Magazine in March 2007, Nicole Richie said, “Finally Paris and I crossed paths. The escorts were really trying to make it so we didn’t see each other. It was ridiculous. When we ended up talking again, we recapped that night and laughed.”
Paris Hilton released her second album in 2014.